MPP head comments on Russia’s detention of WNBA’s Brittney Griner

MPP head comments on Russia’s detention of WNBA’s Brittney Griner

The Associated Press reported over the weekend that the Russian Customs Service detained American WNBA player, Brittney Griner, last month. The basketball player is being charged with possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. According to AP, the charge could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The Marijuana Policy Project, a national cannabis reform advocacy group, issued the following release in relation to the news:

Washington, D.C. — Toi Hutchinson, President and CEO of the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization, released the following statement regarding the arrest and detainment of WNBA Phoenix Mercury center, Brittney Griner, for alleged possession of hashish oil.

“Simple cannabis possession should never be cause for international geopolitics, as we are seeing play out in this case. After weeks of detention amid an increasingly uncertain and dangerous political environment, Brittney needs to be safely returned home as soon as humanly possible.”

Toi Hutchinson, President & CEO of Marijuana Policy Project

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) stands by Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner, her family, the WNBA, and multiple organizations calling for her immediate release and safe return to the U.S.

“We, like the entire country, are monitoring the situation in Russia regarding Brittney Griner and join many others in calling for her swift and safe return home. While we don’t have direct knowledge of this particular situation, it is not uncommon for athletes to use these oils for their physical and mental health, and they should not be penalized or stigmatized for doing so. Simple cannabis possession should never be cause for international geopolitics, as we are seeing play out in this case. After weeks of detention amid an increasingly uncertain and dangerous political environment, Brittney needs to be safely returned home as soon as humanly possible.”


Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms. Visit www.mpp.org for more information.