Brittney Griner is being lawfully detained by Russia under laws written by the United States
The United States is up in arms about the arrest of basketball star, Brittney Griner. She was found guilty by a Russian Court for having a few vials of hash oil in her suitcase. Russia sentenced her to 9 years in prison and a 1 million Ruble fine, ($16,301 – American).
The U.S. State Department claims that Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained, as does our President, Joe Biden, who released this official statement:
“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”
Brittney definitely should not be detained for possession of hash oil, but how can The United States claim that she is being wrongfully detained when we also detain and imprison United States citizens for the exact same offense? How can it be unacceptable for Russia, but perfectly acceptable in the United States?
According to United States law, a person in possession of a small quantity of hash oil, (1 kg or less) on their first offense can be imprisoned for up to 5 years in a federal prison, and fined up to a quarter of a million dollars. It’s true that Russia has sentenced Brittney to more time than we would for a first offense, though her fine is less. For us to jail her for as long as the Russians, it would have to be her second offense. For her second offense, United States federal law states that we could imprison Brittney Griner for up to 10 years in federal prison, and we could impose a fine of up to half a million dollars on her, and that’s just for simple possession of a small quantity of hash oil – not for trafficking.
On our cannabis tours, guests not only get to visit cannabis farms in California’s Emerald Triangle, and enjoy a fun day of weed & wine in California cannabis country, but you also get to learn the history of cannabis, how it has been an integral part of human culture and medicine since long before recorded history, how it became illegal in the United States and around the world in the 20th century, and how we’ve been righting this historical wrong in recent years.
Would you be surprised to find out the reason cannabis is illegal worldwide is because The United States insisted on it?
That’s right. In 1961 The United Nations sought to combine all their treaties controlling opium, coca, and their derivatives like morphine, heroin & cocaine into a single convention on narcotic drugs. At the United States’ insistence, Cannabis was added to the convention, creating the first international prohibition against weed. Marijuana was classified as a Schedule IV drug, defined by the U.N. Convention as particularly liable to abuse and to produce ill effects, and with no substantial therapeutic advantages. If that definition sounds familiar, that’s because it is the exact definition the United States gave to cannabis in our federal law’s definition of it as a schedule 1 drug. Under United States law, Schedule 1 drugs have the harshest penalties. The United Nations equivalent is Schedule 4. Both definitions were written by Harry J. Anslinger, the founder of the United States Bureau of Narcotics, and the man behind Marijuana criminalization in the United States and the rest of the world.
You may think that that’s ancient history, and things are different in the United States now. After all, states have been legalizing cannabis right and left, but, unfortunately, according to United States law, Marijuana is still defined as a schedule 1 narcotic, and, according to the ACLU, over 40,000 Americans are currently in jail for weed. Between 2001 & 2010 the U.S. arrested 8.2 million Americans for Marijuana, and 52% of those arrests were for simple possession.
What can be done about it?
The Last Prisoner Project works toward freeing prisoners in our country’s draconian war on drugs. Support them. They offer many ways to get involved on their website.
At long last, the Senate has finally introduced The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to federally legalize cannabis, and promote equity for casualties of America’s drug war. Contact your Senators, and insist that they pass the bill. Tell them we have no leg to stand on claiming that Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained by Russia when United States law would be detaining her for the same federal “crime”, that our unjust and draconian war on cannabis has been going on for far too long, and we need to end it once and for all.
Whether you use cannabis or not, if you believe in self determination for adults, justice, and liberty. This is an essential fight for all of us who believe in fairness and freedom.