Brittney Griner conviction: In which countries is marijuana legal?

A few countries have legalized the use of marijuana, but Russia is not one of them. — WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and smuggling and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

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Griner has been jailed since Feb. 17 after police said they found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage upon landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. She was returning to Russia, where she has competed in a basketball league since 2014.

The possession of cannabis in Russia is illegal, as is its cultivation and sale.

Some arguing that Griner’s sentence is too harsh for the offense, while others point to Russia’s strong stance on drug issues. Russian officials, in turn, said that just because the U.S. has legalized the use of some drugs doesn’t mean that U.S. citizens can go to other countries and break drug laws.

“If drugs are legalized in the United States, in a number of states, and this is done for a long time and now the whole country will become drug-addicted, this does not mean that all other countries are following the same path,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

“If a U.S. citizen was taken in connection with the fact that she was smuggling drugs, and she does not deny this, then this should be commensurate with our Russian local laws, and not with those adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” she added.

In the United States, around 400,000 are incarcerated for drug offenses. Those in U.S. jails for drug convictions make up about 20% of all of those incarcerated.

Griner is not the only United States citizen jailed in Russia for possession of marijuana. Marc Fogel, a teacher and lecturer who was going to Russia to teach, was arrested at Moscow Airport in August 2021 when authorities found half an ounce of marijuana in his luggage.

Fogel was approved by a doctor in the United States for medical cannabis for chronic pain following a series of serious surgeries, his attorneys said.

He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Which countries have legalized marijuana use and which ones allow the use of medicinal marijuana?

Here is what we know now.

Countries that have legalized recreational use of cannabis (with some restrictions) or decriminalization the use of cannabis, meaning that possession or use of the drug will not lead to criminal charges:

· Canada

· Georgia

· Malta

· Mexico

· South Africa

· Thailand

· Uruguay

· 19 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia in the United States

· The Australian Capital Territory in Australia.

Countries that have legalized medical use of cannabis include:

· Argentina

· Australia

· Barbados

· Brazil

· Canada

· Chile

· Colombia

· Costa Rica

· Croatia

· Cyprus

· Czech Republic

· Denmark

· Ecuador

· Finland

· Germany

· Greece

· Ireland

· Israel

· Italy

· Jamaica

· Lebanon

· Lithuania

· Luxembourg

· Malawi

· Malta

· The Netherlands

· New Zealand

· North Macedonia

· Norway

· Panama

· Peru

· Poland

· Portugal

· Rwanda

· Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

· San Marino

· Sri Lanka

· Switzerland

· Thailand

· The United Kingdom

· Uruguay

· Vanuatu

· Zambia

· Zimbabwe

· 35 U.S. states

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