Cannabis DEI Task Force Statement Regarding Sha’Carri Richardson

Washington, DC —The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force of the Cannabis Trade Federation is deeply disappointed by the U.S Anti-Doping Agency’s ill-advised decision to suspend Sha’Carri Richardson from her world-class performance in track, which has now cost her participation in the Tokyo Olympics.

“This is the failed war on drugs, right here,” said DEI Task Force Chair Linda Mercado Greene. “Discretionary and punitive action specially targeted at a person of color, with no grounding in science or fairness is a paradigm of the failed war on drugs, and it’s past time for this to stop.”

Ms. Richardson, 21, was on track to compete in the Tokyo Olympics with the advantage of fantastic running times for qualifying meets and competitions. However, the Anti-Doping Agency ruled based on tests that the presence of cannabis merited a one-month suspension, which will preclude her from competition at the quadrennial Olympics.

“We join the diverse voices from across the political spectrum that the ruling is absurd. Cannabis is no one’s performance-enhancing drug. It is no different in this context than alcohol and cigarettes. And when you read Ms. Richardson’s reasons for reaching for cannabis—to alleviate depression over the loss of her biological mother—we should be embracing and lifting her up, not making her another casualty in a losing campaign to demonize people,” added Greene. “It’s time to end the criminalization of cannabis and the stigmatization of those that use it,” said Greene.

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