People online are expressing support for Sha’Carri Richardson after news broke that she may not be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics because she tested positive for cannabis.
This week, headlines surfaced that Richardson, 21, could lose her chance to run in the Tokyo Games after testing positive marijuana. According to reports, the track star used cannabis before running in the Olympic trials, located in Oregon, where marijuana use is legal. At this same time, unbeknownst to the world, Richardson’s biological mother passed away. And the first time athlete heard the news was during an interview. Richardson says hearing the tragic news in that way and at that moment put her in a state of “emotional panic” and led to her self-medicating with cannabis.
“I had an interview scheduled with my agent. I knew I was having an interview. I knew going into the interview. Like, I was just thinking it would be a normal interview, and then on the interview, to hear that information come from a complete stranger was definitely triggering, was definitely nerve-shocking,” said Richardson. “Cause it’s like, how are you to tell me that? And no offense against him at all. He’s just doing his job. But, definitely, that sent me in a state of mind and a state of emotional panic, if anything. And still knowing that I’m here. I still have to go out and put on a performance.”
Richardson went on to say that she knew her stardom as an athlete wouldn’t allow her to hide, so she chose to use cannabis as a way to “hide her pain.”
It didn’t take long for Richardson fans and supporters to come to her defense. The words “cannabis” and the hashtags “#LegalizeIt” and “#LetShaCarrriRun” have now gone viral. While people share support for the track star, they are also discussing the issues surrounding the legalization of weed, self-medicating, and how Black people have been disproportionately criminalized for marijuana-related actions throughout history.
From celebs to former athletes and more, people are sounding off in support of Richardson and rooting for the Olympics to #LetShaCarriRun.
"I know what I did. I know what I'm supposed to do … I still made that decision."
Sha'Carri Richardson explains her positive test for cannabis at the U.S. Olympic trials. (via @TODAYshow) pic.twitter.com/OEyn95h5b9
— ESPN (@espn) July 2, 2021
Sha’Carri Richardson should not have to present her trauma to us to seek our forgiveness for anything. She doesn’t have to be traumatized to justify consuming cannabis. This entire society is lost.
— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@BreeNewsome) July 2, 2021
1. Legalize cannabis.
2. Expunge records. Release those jailed for marijuana offenses. Offer resources for a successful re-entry.
3. Invest in the Black and Brown communities destroyed by the “War on Drugs.”
4. Stop testing people/athletes for marijuana.
5. Roll a spliff.
— Stacey Walker (@swalker06) July 2, 2021
Cannabis is still taking away the livelihood of black folks while making white folks millionaires. Tens of thousands of black people are in prison serving longer sentences for selling cannabis than Derek Chauvin will serve for murdering George Floyd.
— • Lissah • (@iamthecreatress) July 2, 2021
Sha’Carri found out about her mother’s death from a reporter during an interview, and cannabis helped her cope with the trauma. The idea she could be ostracized and lose her chance to represent her country for that is absolutely disgusting and heartbreaking. https://t.co/U4rRqbgxSg
— David Griner (@griner) July 2, 2021
So, everyone who accuses people of being lazy because of smoking pot, are now saying that it’s a performance enhancer? It’s ok to drink alcohol but cannabis—which grows out of the ground—is a punishable offense? The IOC needs a a major update. As does the world.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) July 2, 2021
Sha'Carri need to gon head and lock in a few multi million dollar cannabis industry deals and eat off this whole situation. World class athlete running like that off some loud pack? Sensational
— BroBro (@BROBROknows) July 2, 2021
Have I been arrested for cannabis possession? Yes.
Am I ashamed of that? No.
No one should be in jail for it,
lose their job for it,
or lose the right to compete for it.
We all know this makes no sense. Olympians can drink alcohol. It's past time to end prohibition. https://t.co/nA0tXTOJZ7
— Mckayla Wilkes for MD-05 (@MeetMckayla) July 2, 2021
Weed is great for many a thing but running faster isn't one of them. LET HER RUN!!! #ShacarriRichardson
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) July 2, 2021