Let’s Keep Talking about Sha’Carri Richardson
Sha’Carri Richardson, one of the fastest women in the world, had her dream of running in the Tokyo Olympics end with a positive drug test for cannabis. Although hundreds of thousands signed a petition to have her reinstated to the U.S. Olympic team, Sha’Carri still won’t be allowed to run.
WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) made the rule that disqualified her and many would argue that this, along with most other anti-cannabis laws, are based in systematic racism.
Why does WADA think Cannabis is Bad?
WADA’s rule that bans cannabis-use by Olympic athletes is based on a 2011 paper that proposes cannabis is a performance enhancing drug that improves breathing, reduces anxiety and increases appetite during training.
Is WADA Right?
Multiple studies have been published since the 2011 paper, including a 2018 study which found that cannabis does not act as a performance enhancing drug by improving breathing, a later review backed that up.
So, Why Can’t Sha’Carri Run?
A good question, many think that systematic racism is the root of the problem, with its innate ability to extinguish the flame of black joy. New York lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who filed a formal request with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to end Sha’Carri’s suspension, stated that the law is unfair, antiquated and racist.
Sha’Carri won’t be running in the Tokyo Olympics, but you better believe she’ll be running after. Her experience has highlighted an important thread in American politics and will hopefully incite change.
U.S.A. Track and Field has called for the revaluation of anti-doping laws that are enforced by WADA and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
As America’s perception of cannabis shifts from negative to positive and with eminent Federal legalization, it’s up to us to vote out anti-cannabis laws like these that perpetuate negative stereotypes, because the success of the community is dependent on eradicating racist stigma and hate across the country.
So let’s keep fighting for the People’s right to the Plant. Vote for the Green. And most importantly, love each other deeply!