Cannabis Industry Backs Sha’Carri Richardson

CANNANNEW REPORT

The fastest woman in the world might just be 21-year-old sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, but Richardson tested positive for marijuana during the Olympic trials last week and so we may not get the chance to find out in Tokyo. Richardson’s suspension has set news outlets alight with commentary as fiery as her now-trademark mane of hair.  Her Flo Jo-esque nail art and flamboyant style have captured the attention of leagues of fans during her competitions, but what Richardson is best known for is the incredible discipline, charisma, and speed that propelled her from challenging circumstances into track stardom. She became an overnight sensation at the Olympic trials last month, where she won the 100-meter dash an incredible burst before the finish line.  The results of Richardson’s race, obtained on June 19, have been disqualified because of her positive drug test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which announced that she will be granted the minimum penalty of a one-month suspension. Due to the fact that Richardson’s 100-meter win at the trials has been disqualified, she can no longer compete in the 100-meter race at the Olympics. This decision has sparked outrage and debate over the Anti-Doping Agency’s decision and its continued designation of marijuana as a performance-enhancing drug. (Marijuana’s utility for stress relief, recovery, and calm still qualifies it as “performance enhancing” by agency standards.) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which handed down the decision to suspend Richardson, uses three criteria to determine which drugs athletes are prohibited from using. In a paper published in Sports Medicine, the WADA criteria that keep cannabis on the list are explained as follows:  “Athletes who smoke cannabis or Spice in-competition potentially endanger themselves and others because of increased risk-taking, slower reaction times and poor executive function or decision making.”  “Based on current animal and…

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