brittney griner
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized the US for calling jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner “wrongfully detained.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry blasted the US Thursday for continuing to call WNBA star Brittney Griner "wrongfully detained" by authorities in Moscow, saying it's disrespectful to Russian law.

Griner has been locked up in Russia since February, when she was busted for having cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage as she arrived at a Moscow airport.

"If a US citizen was taken in connection with the fact that she was smuggling drugs, and she does not deny this, then this should be commensurate with our Russian, local laws, and not with those adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

She went on to call Americans "drug-addicted."

"If drugs are legalized in the United States, in a number of states, and this is done for a long time, and now the whole country will become drug-addicted, this does not mean that all other countries are following the same path," she said.

The State Department designated Griner — who pleaded guilty to possessing 0.7 grams of cannabis oil but argued that it was medical marijuana she'd inadvertently brought to Moscow — as wrongfully detained in May, moving her case under the purview of its chief hostage negotiator.

The All-Star pleaded guilty earlier this month, but argued that she did not intend to break the law when she entered the country with medically prescribed cannabis to treat persistent pain from sports injuries.

She was entering the country to play for a Russian team during the WNBA's offseason.

The US has repeatedly alleged that Griner's detention is a political play by Moscow, which the Kremlin denies.

In May, the Biden administration assigned Griner's case to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, a State Department team tasked with negotiating the release of Americans being held hostage and others classified as being wrongfully detained in other countries.