Congressional Lawmakers Request Marijuana Policy Change Following Sha’Carri Richardson Suspension

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A group of 18 congressional lawmakers have signed a letter condemning the suspension of a star Olympics sprinter from participating in competition this year because of a failed marijuana test. And they’re requesting that athletic governing bodies make a policy change to prevent it from happening again. The decision to suspend U.S. runner Sha’Carri Richardson has generated widespread frustration, especially considering that she admitted to using cannabis in a legal state after learning news about the death of her biological mother. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, led the sign-on letter asking the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to remove marijuana from the banned substances list. The lawmakers wrote that the marijuana ban “is outdated and restrictive.” And the letter states that while they agree that athletes “should not be under the influence of any substances during competition, we disagree that cannabis should be included in the list and that prior usage in an athlete’s private life should be grounds for sanction,” at least until technology is developed to test for active impairment. It further expresses concern that “cannabis is on this list while alcohol, which has proven health risks associated with its use and abuse, is not.” “We urge the USADA and [the World Anti-Doping Agency] to re-evaluate its criteria and decision to include cannabis, specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as a prohibited substance,” it says. “We believe that cannabis does not meet the description of scientifically proven risk or harm to the athlete and the USADA is perpetuating stereotypes and rhetoric fueled by the racist War on Drugs by claiming its usage, in private use and outside of competition, violates the ‘spirit of the sport.’” “We find it troubling that athletes are not permitted to consume cannabis in their private life, despite it…

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Source : Congressional Lawmakers Request Marijuana Policy Change Following Sha’Carri Richardson Suspension

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