Sha’Carri Richardson: Cannabis Prohibition’s Most Recent Victim
There’s nothing mischievous about going for the gold while on the green. In fact, many athletes believe cannabis is necessary. We can’t wait for Sha’Carri Richardson to become the first Olympian endorsed by a cannabis company. Unfortunately, we have a few things to trek through first.
Sha’Carri Richardson is an American track and field sprinter specializing in the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Sha’Carri Richardson made headlines back in 2019 at LSU thanks to her astonishing 10.75-second sprint. Amazingly, Richardson broke the record during the (NCAA) Championship. Richardson’s record-breaking time establishes her as one of the fastest women in history under 22.
At the beginning of July, prospective olympian Sha’Carri Richardson failed a drug test. Administrators of the trial, the United States Anti-Doping Agency, revealed that Richardson tested positive for cannabis. As a result of a failed drug exam, Richardson was suspended for 30 days. Unfortunately, Richardson’s suspension may cause her to miss the Olympics because the USA team might become hesitant about having Richardson on the team.
The bigger problem
As the opiate crisis of the 2010s continues to run amok across the United States, athletes exhaustively search for alternative medicines for pain relief. Moreover, patients are becoming more aware of using cannabis for pain relief to avoid opioid use altogether. This process also exists for patients who are attempting to evade over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol and Advil. Cannabis has shown encouraging results in a variety of trials as being a sufficient anti-inflammatory. Cannabis can provide patients with relief from mild to severe levels of pain and discomfort.
Cannabis use can also heal patients who experience depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and more. This effect is due to the psychoactivity of the cannabinoid THC. The latter is found in most strains of cannabis. For context, Sha’Carri Richardson has been very outspoken about dealing with the recent loss of her mother.
The sports science
THC interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System in such a manner that it assists in promoting hormonal secretions of antidepressant endorphins. Moreover, the cannabinoid THC has proven to boost mood and calm the symptoms often associated with panic attacks. Patients who experience Chronic Depression, anxiety, and other relative sicknesses turn to cannabis to avoid synthetic and addictive drugs such as Xanax.
CBD, the other primary component of cannabis, is renowned for its alleviating effects. CBD has even been cited as an effective anti-inflammatory. CBD can be used to relieve soreness, which sounds extremely useful for Olympic sprinters.
The silver lining
Sha’Carri Richardson accepted the 30-day suspension handed down by the US Anti-Doping Agency. The timetable allows Sha’Carri to compete in the Olympics this summer in Tokyo. Moreover, Nike announced that they would continue to endorse Richardson during this time. The company cited Richardson’s honesty and the utter harmlessness of cannabis as their reasoning to continue the endorsement. Nike choosing to stand in solidarity with Sha’Carri amongst trying times undoubtedly will impact the USA team’s decision to make room for Richardson.
Fake news and cannabis sensationalization
For most people who encountered the Sha’Carri Richardson news, they didn’t care. It did not bother them to learn that an olympian smokes weed. So does everybody and their grandmother. Honestly, the greatest olympian ever, Michael Phelps, smoked weed during the Olympics. So what is the problem?
The short answer is that companies are vindictive, bored, and running out of things to talk about this summer. Sha’Carri Richardson has been buzzing for what seems like a month before the news of a failed drug test. Companies are entirely aware of this. So when you combine someone popular with something else popular such as, oh I don’t know, the Olympics and weed, you’ve got a story – a big, clickable story.
Cannabis news has been misused and sensationalized since the Reefer Madness Era. The media has been trying to impose a scarlet letter on Sha’Carri Richardson since her rise to fame three years to go. Cannabis use just made it ‘easier to do. Socially, many people have pointed out that Richardson’s ability to break records on cannabis is more impressive than breaking them ‘sober.’