Earlier this week, the jiu-jitsu community received news that 66-year-old BJJ red belt Relson Gracie had been arrested for marijuana trafficking in Brazil. Gracie had been transporting marijuana flowers and derivatives in his suitcase while traveling by bus. The arrest sparked anger within the jiu-jitsu community, which is famously cannabis-friendly, and one of Gracie’s black belts released a video sharing his own opinions on the situation.
Now, though, Gracie is a free man once more. A judge has accepted Gracie’s claim that the marijuana articles in his bag were for medicinal purposes, and he has been released from jail.
Gracie’s lawyer, Joao Francisco Neto, gave the following statement to MMA Fighting:
“The athlete and professor Relson Gracie was a victim of a big misunderstanding. 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 ANVISA (Brazilian health regulatory agency) resolution Neto refers to ruled in December that cannabis products could be purchased with a prescription, making Gracie’s ownership of the items legal under Brazilian law.