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Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Criticizes Legalization In Other Countries

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Russia’s deputy foreign minister came out swinging this week against cannabis legalization in the Western Hemisphere:

This is not the first time that Russia’s government has been critical of cannabis legalization in other countries, specifically when it comes to Canada. When Canada announced plans to legalize cannabis for adult use nationally, Russia was quick to condemn the move.

In the summer of 2018 Moscow issued a stern warning to Canada regarding looming cannabis legalization at the time, stating that Canada’s new policy meant it had “deliberately decided to breach international law.” Canada legalized cannabis in October 2018.

“We expect Canada’s partners in the G7 to respond to its ‘high-handedness’ because this alliance has repeatedly declared its adherence to the domination of international law in relations between states,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement at the time.

The comments out of Russia come in the midst of not only the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine but also as WNBA star Brittney Griner remains in custody in Russia while facing serious cannabis-related charges.

Griner, a United States citizen and professional women’s basketball star, was arrested at an airport in Russia after allegedly being found in possession of cannabis vape pen cartridges. Griner is looking at a potential decade in prison in Russia as a result, which serves as a grim reminder of how harmful Russia’s cannabis policies are.