Cannabis activists smoked weed outside the Russian Embassy in Washington on Thursday and demanded freedom for WNBA star Brittney Griner after a Russian appeals court upheld Griner’s nine-year sentence for cannabis possession.
DC Marijuana Justice activists displayed a 51-foot inflatable joint with the messages “Free Griner and the Russians from Putin” and “Free 420 Prisoners” during a “smoke out” protest that began at 4:20 p.m., according to People.
“We feel compelled to protest the Russian Federation and President Putin, who’s clearly using an American citizen as a pawn in his war against Ukraine,” Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DC Marijuana Justice, told The Washington Post.
“It’s time for the public to rise up and defend Brittney Griner,” Eidinger continued. “If we’re going to fight for prisoners to be released in the United States, we need to fight for them to be released everywhere, internationally.”
Griner, a Phoenix Mercury player, has been detained in Russia since February, when police discovered cannabis oil in her luggage. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
President Joe Biden promised this week that his administration would continue efforts to free Griner and other U.S. citizens in Russian custody.