The sting of Sha’Carri Richardson being kept out of the Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for marijuana during drug tests has yet to subside. For many Twitter users, those feelings have only grown stronger after the release of a new report about Olympians using cannabidiol (CBD)—the second most prominent ingredient in cannabis.
On Friday (July 23), Richardson began trending after sports fans posted a Forbes story about Olympic athletes using cannabis. For the story, they speak to U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who uses CBD products made by Mendi, a CBD company her sister Rachael Rapinoe co-founded. Megan, who previously supported Richardson and says that all athletes should be able to use marijuana, says she uses CBD to help her get to sleep and recover after training sessions. Now, after the article that helps promote Rachael’s company made rounds the last couple of days, fans are noting what they believe to be a double standard.
One Twitter user wrote: “Fucking excuse me???? Sha’carri Richardson got banned for using cannabis AFTER SHE FOUND OUT HER MOTHER DIED WHILE BEING INTERVIEWED but somehow it’s ok for white people to incorporate it into their training regimes?????”
Another Twitter user wrote: “So…the olympics can disqualify Sha’Carri Richardson for smoking cannabis under the guise of it being a performance enhancing drug, but ya throw a couple white folks advertising cannabis and not a fucking peep but an article in forbes? saying the quiet part loud.”
While people are calling this a double standard, there are some things to note as far as technicalities go. For one, CBD is legal within the parameters of the Olympics’ anti-doping policies, while THC, another key ingredient of cannabis, one that gives you the “high,” is not. So, Rapinoe and other athletes using CBD wouldn’t get them suspended. Still, Rapinoe thinks all athletes should be able to use marijuana.
“We’re expected to perform on the biggest stages and highest levels, yet we can’t use all-natural products to help us recover,” she wrote in a statement to Forbes. “It’s not right, and these policies need to be changed to reflect where our culture is.”
Rapinoe also noted the way that, even outside of sports, laws regarding cannabis use have adversely affected Black and Brown U.S. residents.
“The societal effect in terms of social justice that weed has had on this country is just absurd,” Rapinoe says. “There are so many, mostly Black and Brown, people sitting in jail for 10 or 20-plus years for weed, and it’s completely unnecessary. From a social perspective, we’re long overdue for the legalization of cannabis.”
See tweets about Richardson’s situation compared to Rapinoe’s for yourself below.