Brittney Griner is a US Olympic Sports star, who I would think with her world travel experience would be familar with some hang-ups that other countries might have when a traveler arrives in possession of illegal substances.
I mean, yeah, I feel sorry for her, her friends and her family, but I am wondering why she deserves any special consideration for breaking the laws of a country she is visiting. I mean, surely she understands that “hemp” and “cannabis” are the same thing? Surely she is aware that in most parts of the world, open possession of cannabis is some kind of crime? A serious crime in a few places? Like, Russia for instance?
If it was just some plain citizen named Sarah Smith, would we be on the verge of state level prisoner swaps, right out of a spy novel? If it were a Russian citizen who were visiting the US, would we let them off for entering the country with hemp or cannabis?
The woman is a grown person, responsible for her own behaviour, and while I’m shocked that she would get a nine year sentence, I also understand that because of who she is, there are politics involved, and with the US and Russia already having strained relationships, Russia is trying to make a point, and Brittney Griner is at this point, just a tool in International Politics.