Drug Policy Alliance Statement on Sha’Carri Unjust Suspension from U.S. Olympics Team After Testing Positive for THC Consumed in Legal State

Press Release July 2, 2021
Media Contact

Contact:
Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
[email protected]

New York, NY: American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who wowed Americans with her record-setting win in the women’s 100-meter race at the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon last month, has been suspended from the Olympic team after testing positive for THC, the compound found in marijuana. Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) has released the following statement:

“Drug testing is yet another tool of the drug war, and it’s a failure. Sha’Carri’s suspension serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder of how insidious the drug war is in our everyday lives, far beyond the carceral state. Drug testing does nothing to show current impairment. The USADA must undo this archaic, inhumane, and unscientific policy.

“Sha’Carri is a young, autonomous Black woman and she has the right to put whatever she wants in her body. She shouldn’t have to apologize for the choices she makes to navigate her life. Yet she is being locked out of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she has fought her entire life for because she chose to use marijuana to cope with the grief of losing her biological mother. But let us be clear: trauma is not a prerequisite for all drug use. 

“Sha’Carri apologized, mentioning ‘I know what I am not allowed to do, and I still made that decision.’  But the rules are inconsistent. Sha’Carri reportedly used marijuana in Oregon—a state where adult use is legal. These inconsistencies force people to be stuck in the middle, navigating unclear rules and being faced with lifelong consequences. We must end the drug war once and for all so that no one is subjected to contradictory and punitive rules about what they can and cannot put in their own bodies.”

Drug Policy Alliance has been leading efforts to end drug testing, including:

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

Sign up for updates from DPA.

en_USEnglish

4/20 MATCH!

Your $1 becomes $2 to power the urgent fight to end marijuana prohibition and repair the harms of the drug war. Don’t miss your chance to fight for justice!