Brittney Griner may be coming home soon.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden Administration was working out a prisoner swap with Russia to free the American basketball star and US Marine Paul Whelan, ESPN reported.

“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release,” said Blinken. “Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal, and I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally, and, I hope, to move us toward a resolution.”

The catch? President Biden wants to swap the two Americans in exchange for only one Russian imprisoned on US soil: Viktor Bout, 55, an international arms dealer who was convicted in 2011 for supplying military-grade weapons to Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Colombian terrorist organization Farc.

In February, just as Russia was beginning its invasion of Ukraine, Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport for allegedly trafficking cannabis vape cartridges. She said she did not intend to transport the cartridges into Russia, and did not know how they got into her luggage. At her recent trial, she said she has a doctor’s recommendation for medical cannabis back in the US.

Griner also said she was pressured into signing government documents without full, proper translation. An interpreter was assigned to her, but she said the interpreter only partially translated the documents, and she relied on Google in an attempt to understand the rest of them.

If convicted, Griner faces a decade in prison.

The other American included in the prisoner swap offer is Paul Whelan, a US Marine who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in December 2019 and sentenced to 16 years of “hard labor,” ABC News reported. The US government denies Whelan was spying on Russia.

“We do worry about his condition,” Paul Whelan’s brother, David Whelan, told ABC News. “He’s in a labor colony in Russia. The food’s not great. The environment’s not great. He’s lost about 20% of his weight since he was arrested.”

According to Whelan’s family, the Marine was visiting Russia to help a friend, and was ultimately “entrapped by another friend.”

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov indicated he would be open to Blinken’s offer. 

“I will listen to what he has to say,” Lavrov said.

While the US has been slowly undoing the War Against Weed state-by-state, it’s easy to forget that other countries continue to view this plant as a dangerous drug. Ironically, the US government still does so, as well, maintaining cannabis’s Schedule I status even as most Americans currently reside in states with some form of pot legalization. 

Last week, the US Senate introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which would legalize adult-use cannabis nationwide. If the US is going to spring Griner, who’s facing weed charges overseas, it makes sense to spring out the entire country, too.

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