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470868The Russians slapped basketball star Brittney Griner with a nine-year sentence for drug smuggling because she had .02 ounces of cannabis oil on her. While her sentence is wholly unreasonable even under Russia’s strict laws, it’s generally understood that Griner’s getting this harsh sentence as a prelude to a prisoner exchange. Russia raises the stakes by threatening to put Griner away for almost a decade for having what amounts to residue so we give them back some kind of vicious arms dealer or something.

Without diminishing the injustice being visited upon Griner, her nine-year sentence should remind us that when it comes to backward countries, the United States has its own problems. Looking at you, Mississippi

The Mississippi Supreme Court voted last week to uphold a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a man who was convicted of possessing less than three ounces of weed.

The whole opinion is here and it’s bonkers.

Allen Russell was arrested in 2017 for possessing what amounted to 1.54 ounces of marijuana. Because he had a violent prior history, Mississippi threw away the key.

Or DID he have a violent prior history? Because Mississippi gets a little creative with the definition of “violent.”

During his trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Russell had three prior felony convictions, two for burglary and one for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Under Mississippi state law, a burglary is considered a violent offense, even if no evidence of actual violence against a person is presented in a case.

It gets worse when you learn that the state didn’t classify burglary as violent until after he was released. It’s like an injustice issue spotter.

Everything about what’s happening to Brittney Griner is wrong, but don’t let the fact that a terrorist regime is trying to make an example out of her give you a false sense of moral superiority. An ounce and a half of pot has a man in prison without the possibility of parole for the rest of his life in the United States of America in 2022!

Hopefully, if and when the State Department gets Griner back, the outrage over her sentence can carry over to cases like Allen’s. Because draconian punishments for trace amounts of weed are a problem on both sides of the Bering Strait.

Mississippi Supreme Court Upholds Life Sentence for Weed Possession [High Times]

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