Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Mrs. Hunter Biden Shops for Pot While Brittney Griner Faces 10 Years for It


Cohen and (apparently) her Secret Service agent enter the 99 High Tide dispensary in Malibu on 7/13. 

Cohen exits the dispensary
carrying a small package.
UPDATE 8/15/22: 
Griner's attorneys have appealed her conviction, and there's official talk of swapping her and other Russian prisoners for arms dealer Victor Bout, and idea has been criticized by former president and coup-inciter Donald Drumpf. I guess the US doesn't want the competition; war toys are some of our biggest exports.

It's been reported that Hunter Biden's wife Melissa Cohen was escorted by a Secret Service agent while she went grocery shopping and stopped at a cannabis club to make a purchase in Malibu, CA. (Marijuana Moment was unable to confirm that it was a Secret Service agent who accompanied her. The First Family does receive SS protection.)

It made me sad to think of Brittney Griner facing 10 years in a Russian prison for a similar act, despite public outcry and US diplomatic efforts to free her. Soccer star/CBD entrepreneur Megan Rapinoe and Warriors champion Steph Curry were among the star athletes pleading for Griner’s freedom at The ESPYs on July 20. 

On Twitter, I nudged Very Important Pothead Kareem Abdul Jabbar to write about his fellow Arizonan Griner after it came out in court that she had a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana.  I included a video of Kareem teaching Griner the sky hook when she came to play for the Phoenix Mercury. 

Kareem and Brittney 
The following day, Kareem tweeted about comparing hand and feet sizes with Griner when she came to play for WNBA's Phoenix team, and posted this thoughtful story, wondering aloud whether pressure from celebrities could backfire in the case.  He mentioned Griner's medical use only in passing, and failed to call for an end to the draconian drug laws that have strengthened Russia's hand in the matter. 

In July 2002 Kareem was arrested at the Toronto airport for carrying a small amount of marijuana. He said at the time that he uses marijuana to alleviate the migraine headaches that have bothered him for years. "I use it to control the nausea which comes with the headaches,'' he said during a book signing the following year. 

Abdul-Jabbar remains the NBA's all-time career scoring leader. He wrote in his 1983 autobiography Giant Steps that he first tried marijuana at the age of 17, after his friend Neil Chusid challenged his impression that it was a dangerous, addictive narcotic. He then researched marijuana "as if it was an independent study project. I spent time in the library, thumbed through the card catalogue, checked the facts, followed the footnotes. I read the LaGuardia Report, a New York City government-sponsored drug-use study, and damned if Neil wasn't correct; marijuana was not a narcotic, it wasn't addictive. I was astonished....After that I'd get high on the occasional weekend or at parties every chance I could." 

Meanwhile, former US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard tweeted a video pointing out the hypocrisy of the Biden administration moving to free Griner while leaving US citizens behind bars for marijuana. President Biden campaigned on a platform to free US marijuana prisoners, but it's complicated: mostly they're in on trafficking or multiple charges, or sentenced under three-strikes or "habitual offender" laws. And most of the 3.9 million people on parole and probation in the US are required to prove they are drug-free through drug tests; if they turn up positive, they can be sent back to prison. 

UPDATES: Reuters reported that Griner said while on the stand at her trial: 

The seven years I've been coming back and forth to Moscow multiple times, I've never seen so many people working that day. There were a lot of custom agents and people behind the scanners that day. It was a little abnormal. 

Because of my injuries that I've had over the long career of basketball. From my spine, no cartilage in my knee. I was in a wheelchair for four months. I broke my ankle and I also sprained my knee really bad. So I was wheelchair-bound. 

The benefits from medical cannabis definitely outweigh the painkillers that they prescribe. The painkillers have really bad side effects. Medical cannabis, there are honestly no side effects that harm you. 

The medical cannabis that was found in my luggage was my property, purchased in Phoenix. I still don't understand to this day how they ended up in my bag. If I had to speculate, if I had to guess on how they ended up in my bags, I was in a rush packing. I was recovering from COVID, the stress of packing, making sure I had my COVID tests. Jet lag. And I was in a rush, throwing my stuff into my bag. 

The New York Times, in a thorough piece titled, "Why Pros Like Brittney Griner Choose Cannabis for Their Pain," revealed that, "W.N.B.A.’s Sue Bird has endorsed a cannabis products brand aimed at athletes. Lauren Jackson, a women’s basketball great, credited medicinal cannabis for her long-awaited return to the court this year after dealing with chronic knee pain. She is listed on the advisory board of an Australian company that sells cannabis products." 

The Times reported that Griner will not face punishment from the W.N.B.A. for her marijuana use if she returns to the league. The N.F.L. relaxed its marijuana policy in 2020 to allow for limited use, but it can still fine and suspend players for exceeding the limits. Major League Baseball removed marijuana from its list of banned substances in 2019, but players can still be disciplined for being under the influence during team activities or breaking the law to use it. The N.H.L. tests for marijuana, but does not penalize players for a positive result. The N.B.A. halted testing when the coronavirus pandemic began, and a more permanent policy is expected. Michele Roberts, the head of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) who also joined the board of the major cannabis company Cresco Labs this year, predicted in a recent interview that the formal change could come as early as “next season.” 

Naama Issachar, the US-born Israeli woman who was caught with pot and imprisoned in Russia in 2020, spoke on NBC's Nightly News about her experience in the light of Griner's trial. The announcement of Griner's arrest in March came on the heels of a ruling whereby an Israeli court froze the Russian government ownership of a Jerusalem church, reportedly part of a deal struck for the release of Issachar, who was convicted for smuggling 10 grams of hashish through the Moscow airport. She had been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.

On the return of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher on 7/30, he joked that we ought to imprison Donald Trump and trade him for Griner. Responding to Trump's recent call to execute drug dealers, Maher said he didn't agree with the policy "except when they're really late."

Trump appeared on a podcast where he maligned Griner as “a potentially spoiled person” who went to Russia “loaded up with drugs,” criticizing unconfirmed reports that the US is negotiating a prisoner swap involving Griner and Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker. 

An OAN host called Griner "an America-hating lesbian pothead" just before Netflix was set to drop the network. 

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