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Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Was the Cannabis worth it, Brittney?

Lorie Shaull
Brittney Griner is an WNBA player who plays for the Phoenix Mercury and this photo was taken when the Mercury were playing the Minnesota Lyn on July of 2014.

WNBA player Brittney Griner, of the Phoenix Mercury, has been given a nine-year prison sentence in Russia after being arrested earlier this year for intentionally smuggling drugs into the country.

​​Having been stopped at a Moscow airport on March 5 of this year, Griner was searched and revealed to have vape cartridges that had derived from cannabis and was sentenced to nine years in Aug.

While many have commented on the severity and harshness of Griner’s conviction, given her statement that her actions were unintentional.

Griner said that she was, “in a rush and the cartridges accidentally ended up in [her] bag.”

However, the WNBA player has been flying to Russia for seven years and her team should take an adequate amount of time to look at what’s illegal in Russia and what are the Russian flying laws.

Griner also made $1 million to play basketball in Russia every winter, which her team should’ve been more careful by making sure nothing Griner has is illegal.

Griner just needs to stay in Russia to remind herself that she is in a different country with a different set of rules.

Even though nine years is harsh, people who travel to different countries have to understand it isn’t America.

We have the luxuries of free speech and weed in the United States but people who live in different countries, don’t have that luxury.

It has been noted that a political activist, who was caught smuggling weed, is in talks of being traded for Viktor Bout who is serving a 25-year sentence for illegal trafficking and is called the “Merchant of Death.”

Human rights activist Ivan Melnikov says, “I hope that she will be sent to a colony with a lenient governor who allows her to coach basketball in the daytime rather than being a seamstress.”

Melnikov went on to explain that inmates are encouraged to play sports and basketball is popular in Russia.

NBA players go to China all the time and tons of famous people perform in different countries yet those people don’t get imprisoned.

When you are traveling to a different country, you have to make sure you have nothing illegal and that you’re following the rules so you don’t make a huge mistake as Griner did.

Not only that, Republicans like Larry Elder showed their disapproval of Griner because of her not standing for the national anthem, which shows the backlash of Griner’s mistakes.

You also have 4 out of 10 people being arrested for marijuana offenses in 2018 and there isn’t any push to get people who’ve been convicted of weed out of prison.

There’s no way that Russia is just going to give Griner up because the United States helped Ukraine by giving them so much money and even if you do a trade, you’ll get backlash because of Griner’s mistake.

The United States should let Griner serve her time and show a lesson that if you’re going to be traveling outside the United States, to make sure you have nothing considered illegal before traveling.

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About the Contributors
Samuel Chacko, Editor in Chief
Samuel Chacko is the Editor-in-Chief for Talon marks covering sports, politics, news and opinion. Sam enjoys playing video games, watching sports and music. Samuel is hoping to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in 2023 and work for a prestigious Journalism outlet one day. Contact [email protected] to meet with him and for news tips.
Gabriel Villegas, Staff Writer
Gabe Villegas is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering the Community, Opinion, Arts and Entertainment. Gabe enjoys screenwriting, drawing/animation, and reading novels and scripts in his free time. His goal is to become a professional screenwriter/filmmaker in Hollywood and earn a SAG card.
Samuel Carey, Co-Community Editor
Samuel Carey is Co-Community Editor  for Talon Marks and is energetic to report the news of communities. Carey appreciates watching T.V. listening to jazz and hip-hop and wishes to transfer to Cal State Long Beach in Summer 2023 and wants to open his own national syndicated radio station.
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Was the Cannabis worth it, Brittney?