SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Brittney Griner has been held in Russia since February when she was detained at a Moscow airport after authorities there claimed she was carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.
U.S. Department of State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed during a department press briefing Tuesday that Griner’s detention has been extended for the third time.
“I’ve seen the reports emanate from Russia that her detention has been extended. Our position for some time on this has been very clear: Brittney Griner should not be detained. She should not be detained for a single day longer.” said Price. “We have characterized her, we have characterized Paul Whelan, who has also spent far too long in Russian detention, as wrongful detainees.”
Some Savannah locals such as Sophie Guanaga, manager at Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary in Savannah seem to agree. “It’s crazy to think about how someone who is probably vaping just for pain, especially if she is an athlete, is like getting arrested.”
Located on W. Victory Drive, Guanaga said they haven’t seen any negative things as a seller of CBD Hemp products, tobacco, nicotine and vapes.
“We have a lot of regular customers. A lot of people know us really well. We’re also small enough and in this kind of city, with our regular customers, we’re on a first-name basis with,” Guanaga said. “It is cool to see people who are literally like, ‘I just wanted to leave the house and go for a walk.’ They come in and they buy a joint and they go to the park. It’s like, we’re not bothering anybody.”
She continued, “I have been here for over a year. It is the best job I’ve ever had, it’s my favorite place I’ve ever been.”
Aimee (who preferred not to give her last name), also works at Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary and believes Griner didn’t know the law enough in Russia.
“It comes to the fact that she didn’t know the law as she was traveling with it,” Aimee said. “When you’re traveling across states or wherever, you have to look into what places allow you to carry vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.”
“People just don’t do their research,” Guanga said. “I do feel bad that she just literally didn’t google anything, but it’s kind of silly that someone would be detained for something so completely natural.”
Concerning products derived from cannabis and its components, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there is a significant interest in the development of therapies and other consumer products derived from cannabis and its components, including cannabidiol (CBD).
“FDA recognizes the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds may offer and acknowledges the significant interest in these possibilities. However, FDA is aware that some companies are marketing products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and that may put the health and safety of consumers at risk.”