Customs officials allegedly found .702 grams of the marijuana content in her luggage. Her attorneys argued this did not meet the “significant amount” threshold under Russian law.
And emphasized the cannabis oil was less than the weight of a pen cap or a stick of gum.
The court was also presented with a letter from Griner’s American doctor. It explained Griner had been prescribed medical marijuana. And that she suffered with “chronic pain from past basketball injuries.”
Griner’s attorneys also called the Russian team captain and director where the WNBA star is a stand-out performer. Both testified on her behalf describing her as exceptional both on and off the court.
The day before her sentencing Griner made another emotional appeal for leniency. And apologized to the court for the “honest mistake” of bringing the cannabis oil into Russia.
An emotional Griner apologized to her family, her teammates and her Russian club for “the embarrassment I brought on them.”
“I never meant to hurt anybody,” she said. “I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population. I never meant to break any laws here. I made an honest mistake and I hope that, in your ruling, that it doesn’t end my life here.”