The saga of Brittney Griner’s wrongful detention in Russia has been tragic. With the news that she was sentenced to nine years in a Russian jail cell, America has made her pain its own, from the hardwood to the Oval office.
However, polarizing-comedian-turned podcaster Joe Rogan although saddened by Griner’s verdict, had a different take on the situation.
“This is some really horrible sh-t. I hope some sort of a deal can be made to get her out, and I hope this makes us look at our own policies here in America where thousands of people are in jail for cannabis right now,” Rogan posted on his social media pages.
Joe Rogan has some words about the Brittney Griner situation. pic.twitter.com/SvjwaCPtFU
— Catch Up News! (@CatchUpScoop) August 5, 2022
Griner has been sitting in a Russian cell since being caught with a vape cartridge with cannabis oil while traveling to Russia. What started as something the WNBA and NBA felt needed to be low-key to ease relations with Russia is now a blitzkrieg of public outcry.
Griner’s fate now rests on the outcome of negotiations around a prisoner swap for Viktor Bout, an arms dealer that Russia wants returned.
We are ready to discuss this subject, but only within the framework of the (communication) channel established by presidents Putin and Biden,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday during a press conference on a visit to Cambodia. “There is a special channel established by the presidents, and despite certain public declarations, it is still functional.”
While we are demanding the release of Brittney Griner, U.S. federal and state governments should lead by example, releasing all prisoners imprisoned on cannabis charges. Expunge every single conviction. @joerogan is 💯 right. pic.twitter.com/hoj99YaLz8
— Matt Kibbe (@mkibbe) August 5, 2022
Griner pleaded guilty to the charges levied against her and added that her intention was not to break Russian law or even use cannabis while in Russia. The substance is banned in the country, and medical marijuana is not allowed in Russia.
However, Griner testified that she had permission to use medicinal cannabis from her U.S. doctor to alleviate the pain from her sports-related injuries.
Griner gave a final statement before the verdict.
“I want the court to understand it was an honest mistake that I made while rushing, under stress, trying to recover from post-Covid and just trying to get back to my team,” Griner said.
Although Griner’s attorneys revealed her plan to appeal, President Biden called Griner’s conviction “unacceptable” and reiterated Washington’s intention to “work tirelessly” for her release.
My thoughts on Brittney Griner. pic.twitter.com/NTO8DJ9Gae
— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) August 4, 2022
With Griner now in a position to have her release become a reality, Joe Rogan feels that the U.S. needs to also focus on its wrongfully detained at home for cannabis offenses. Rogan spoke more about the issue during a recent episode of the “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
“They’ve got her arrested, it’s against the law and she might do 10 years in jail over there which is f*cking horrific but here’s what’s important. People are freaking about this, Russia needs to let her go … we have people in America locked up for marijuana and they’ve been locked up for years and there’s not one, there’s thousands of them, so what they’re not good at throwing a ball at a f*cking net. Is that what it is? They’re not good enough to be let out?”
Griner’s arrest, detention, and subsequent media coverage have opened a Pandora’s box of discussionn on the issue of cannabis and how the U.S. can also be considered part of wrongful detentions.