“We all have our different struggles, we all have our different things we deal with, but to put on a face and have to go out in front of the world and put on a face and hide my pain. Who are you? Who am I to tell you how to cope when you’re dealing with a pain or you’re dealing with a struggle that you’ve never experienced before or that you never thought you’d have to deal with. Who am I to tell you how to cope? Who am I to tell you you’re wrong for hurting?” Sha’Carri Richardson, U.S. sprinter with the sixth fastest 100 meters time in history.
The cannabis community has many reasons to celebrate freedom this July 4th Independence Day holiday, with so much momentum on our side. This week, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Virginia officially legalized, bringing us up to a total of 19 states and our nation’s capital and 44% of United States citizens now living in locales that have ended Reefer Madness prohibition within their borders. But, as usual in activism, there is more work to be done on a lot of fronts, and the plight of American Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is an important reminder of that work. Richardson was in Oregon, the fourth state to legalize and whose citizens just celebrated the sixth anniversary of legalization, for the Olympic trials when she learned from a reporter that her biological mother had passed away. To help cope with that trauma, Ms. Richardson utilized cannabis, not violating any state law, but unfortunately the arcane rules of her sport.
“The United States Anti-Doping Agency on Friday announced that Richardson has accepted a one-month suspension. In accepting the penalty, Richardson’s results from the U.S. Olympic trials have been ‘disqualified, and she forfeits any medals, points, and prizes,’ USADA said in a statement.
“Richardson tested positive at the Olympic trials last month where she established herself as a gold-medal contender by winning the 100 meters in 10.86 seconds.”
“USADA said that her ban was reduced to one month because she had used cannabis out of competition and it was unrelated to sport performance. She also successfully completed a counselling program regarding her use of the drug.
“The ban could leave Richardson, the fastest American woman this year with a time of 10.72 seconds, clear to race in the 4x100m relay at the Olympics in the first week of August, if she is one of two athletes selected by USATF on top of the first four trials finishers.
“‘This incident was about marijuana, so after my sanction is up I’ll be back and able to compete and every single time I step on the track I’ll be ready for whatever anti-doping agency to come and get what it is that they need.'”
We’ve seen important changes regarding cannabis testing in sports recently, but obviously more work needs to be done as Richardson joins Usain Bolt, the fastest man of all-time, and Michael Phelps, the fastest swimmer of all-time, as great Olympic talents that have happened to use cannabis. Heartwarmingly, the sports world has largely rallied around Sha’Carri, including two of my favorite sports ballers, Portland Trail Blazer great Damian Lillard and Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the National Football League.
I think that I can speak for the entire cannabis community in saying that we are all pulling for Sha’Carri Richardson and that we will all be pulling for her as she overcomes this momentary setback to have a tremendous career. Hopefully, this will be the last time that Olympic dreams are dashed by Reefer Madness nonsense.
Kind Leaf is the best place to celebrate freedom this year and every year. Come into our shop to check out the best selection of cannabis in Oregon or shop online via Leafly. We always have great deals and discounts for military veterans, senior citizens, and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients.