Giant joint placed in front of Russian embassy in US to protest Griner arrest

Washington, Oct 27 (EFE).- A group of activists in favor of the legalization of marijuana placed a giant inflatable joint Thursday in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington, to request the release of the American basketball player Brittney Griner, imprisoned there for drug smuggling.

The protest started at 4:20 p.m. local time (8:20 p.m. GMT), a symbolic figure for the cannabis movement, when a dozen activists inflated the joint, about 12 meters long, and began smoking in front of the diplomatic delegation, in Northwest Washington.

“We are asking (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to show good faith and release Brittney Griner and all Americans behind bars for cannabis,” renowned activist Adam Eidinger told reporters.

Eidinger criticized that marijuana use is “persecuted” in both Russia and the United States, telling politicians that “there are more important things to worry about, like the climate crisis or peace.”

The giant joint, which appeared to be lit at one end, was inscribed “Freedom for Prisoners 4.20” in English on one side and Russian on the other.

Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport with cannabis oil in her suitcase last February, shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and sentenced to nine years in prison.

The Russian Justice rejected Griner’s appeal from Ella Tuesday and kept her conviction for drug possession and smuggling in force.

After hearing the news, the White House branded the process a judicial “farce” and US President Joe Biden promised he would continue working to achieve the athlete’s release from her.

Washington is negotiating with Moscow an exchange of prisoners that would allow the return to the United States of Griner and Paul Whelan, an American sentenced to 16 years for espionage. EFE


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