- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The grass won’t be just on the pitch when soccer’s World Cup kicks off in Russia later this year.

Russian authorities revealed this week they will allow foreign fans who flock to the quadrennial spectacle to bring medically-prescribed marijuana and cocaine, so long as they secure the necessary papers in advance.

The Izvestia newspaper reported that the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union allows travelers to bring in banned substances so long as they have supporting medical documents — written in Russian. The newspaper noted that the list of drugs allowed into the Russian-led bloc includes cocaine, cannabis and heroin.

Russia’s 2018 World Cup Organizing Committee told the newspaper it will be posting security officers at the tournament’s many playing sites to verify the authenticity of drug prescriptions for suspect substances.

“Security officers will monitor the enforcement of rules for carrying prescription drugs to stadium grounds at checkpoints,” the committee said Tuesday.

The monthlong tournament, which does not include the U.S., begins June 14.

• David R. Sands can be reached at dsands@washingtontimes.com.

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