Sha’Carri Richardson’s one month suspension from the U.S. Olympic team after testing positive for THC has become a polarizing topic. Athletes, entertainers and even politicians have weighed in on the matter — shedding light on the country’s age-old issue with marijuana.
On Saturday (July 3), President Joe Biden was asked about Richardson’s suspension at an event in Michigan. “The rules are the rules,” he said. “Whether they should remain the rules is a different issue, but the rules are the rules.” Biden also mentioned that he was “really proud of the way” the track star responded, referring to her apology on the “TODAY” show Friday (July 2).
Biden may be the highest-ranking politician to share his opinion on the the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) ruling, however, he isn’t the only one. In fact, what’s really strange is members of Congress from both the Republican and Democratic Party seem to agree Richardson should be allowed to run. Republican representative Matt Gaetz said Friday that he opposes Richardson’s suspension over her positive marijuana test. Another Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted today (July 3) that he believes Richardson has responded to her suspension with “pure class.” Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin have even crafted a formal letter to the USADA asking them to reconsider the 21-year-old Texas native’s suspension.
“We urge you to reconsider the policies that led to this and other suspensions for recreational marijuana use, and to reconsider Ms. Richardson’s suspension. Please strike a blow for civil liberties and civil rights by reversing this course you are on,” the two lawmakers wrote. “We are also concerned that the continued prohibition of marijuana while your organizations allow recreational use of alcohol and other drugs reflects anti-drug laws and policies that have historically targeted Black and Brown communities while largely condoning drug use in white communities. Anti-marijuana laws have a particularly ugly history of systemic racism.”
Watch President Biden speak on the issue and check out AOC and Rep. Raskins’ letter to the USADA below: