In response to the sentencing of Brittney Griner to nine years in a penal colony in Russia for possession of hash oil, NORML has released the following statement from Executive Director Erik Altieri:
“Brittney Griner’s sentence of nine years in a penal colony for simple possession is a grotesque affront to the concept of justice and an unfortunate reminder of how draconic marijuana laws remain around the globe. However, it should also cause a serious level of reflection amongst our lawmakers and officials who feign disgust at the draconic punishment Griner is facing while turning a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding American citizens we throw in jail for the same crime. The time for platitudes is over, the United States government needs to realize the current federal policy of marijuana prohibition and anti-marijuana laws in many states aren’t notably different than the stance held by Putin’s regime in Russia and take real action to end those failed policies.
Officials in the United States should do all they can to free Griner, but just as important, end the hypocrisy of acting repulsed by her sentencing while maintaining marijuana criminalization at home by bringing our domestic marijuana policies in line with our nation’s stated principles of liberty and justice.”