Jiu-jitsu pioneer Relson Gracie was released from jail after a judge accepted his defense that the cannabis paraphernalia he was carrying in his bag was for medicinal use, members of the Gracie family confirmed to MMA Fighting.
The 66-year-old veteran, son of BJJ icon Helio Gracie, was originally charged with drug trafficking after Federal Highway Police’s dogs allegedly had several forms of cannabis in his bag during a bus trip between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Cops suspected that Gracie brought the drugs with him from Los Angeles.
MMA Fighting obtained a statement released by Gracie’s lawyer Joao Francisco Neto on his release.
“The athlete and professor Relson Gracie was a victim of a big misunderstanding,” the statement read. “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.”
ANVISA, the Brazilian health regulatory agency, ruled in favor of cannabis-based medication in December. Therefore, patients with a prescription can purchase products with THC or CBD in drug stores in Brazil.