The two-time Olympic gold medalist, 32, was arrested in February as she tried to leave Russia, where she had been playing basketball in the WNBA offseason.
She testified in court that she used prescribed cannabis oil to treat pain from sports injuries, but had forgotten the cartridges were in her luggage when she hastily packed for her trip.
US diplomats are under intense pressure to negotiate a prisoner swap for Griner and Paul Whelan, who was arrested in 2018 and accused of being a spy.
Speaking to reporters at the White House after Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Joe Biden said there had been a number of discussions to try to secure Griner’s release.
“I’m hopeful that now that our election is over there’s a willingness to negotiate more specifically with us,” Biden said. “I’m determined to get her home and get her home safely.”
Advocates say the Americans are being kept as political pawns by the Kremlin amid the ongoing fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are thankful for everyone’s support, and hope that as we near nine months of detention, that BG and all wrongfully detained Americans will be shown mercy and returned home to their families for the holidays,” Colas said.
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