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Relson Gracie released from prison after judge accepts medical cannabis defense

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Relson Gracie was facing up to 15 years in prison after he was arrested for drug trafficking in Brazil last week. The 66-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pioneer was found to have numerous forms of cannabis with him during a bus trip from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo on Friday.

Less than a week later, the elder Gracie is free. According to family lawyer Joao Francisco Neto, the said charges were dropped after the judge accepted their defense that the paraphernalia found was to be used for therapeutic purposes.

“The athlete and professor Relson Gracie was a victim of a big misunderstanding,” Neto said in a written statement to MMA Fighting. “He lives in the U.S. and brought cannabidiol-based medication for therapeutic purposes, all industrialized and obtained with a prescription in that country.

“His arrest during a routine inspection by police officers was promptly revoked by the Judiciary. Such medication can already be imported with a mere prescription, according to a recent ANVISA resolution, which deflates any possibility of a crime being committed.”

The Brazil government, through pharmaceutical regulator ANVISA, approved medical marijuana use last December, but has maintained its stance against domestic cultivation.

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