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This is about more than Sha’Carri Richardson

As the Olympics begin, there's one athlete who should be there, but won't.

Sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson was favored to win the gold. Instead, she became yet another victim of the War on Drugs that has robbed millions — especially young Black Americans — of opportunity.

Sha'Carri explained that she used cannabis here in Oregon (where it is completely legal) to cope with her mother's passing. This is not uncommon. Thousands of people who suffer from PTSD rely on cannabis as a part of their treatment.

It's time to get real America. Cannabis is not a performance-enhancing drug and there is no good reason that Sha'Carri shouldn't be able to represent our country.

What happened to this promising athlete is just one more example of collateral damage large and small from the country's failed cannabis prohibition.

As I work to legalize cannabis across the country, I'm also working with my Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair Barbara Lee to encourage the United States Anti-Doping Agency to change its flawed cannabis positions.

This is about more than just about one athlete. This is about the generations of Americans who have been denied opportunities for simply using cannabis.

In the case of Sha'Carri, the failed War on Drugs has once again hurt us.

It's clear that the government needs to catch up with America and real life. I will keep fighting to ensure we never have another dream derailed like Sha'Carri's.



Posted on July 23, 2021.