After Sha’Carri Richardson was excluded from the US Olympic team for testing positive for cannabis, we have seen increasing support for legalization at the federal level.
Earlier last week, a bipartisan coalition of business and advocacy groups that includes the billionaire Koch family published a white paper that provided recommendations for federally legalizing cannabis like alcohol or tobacco. According to the white paper, the coalition supports the following goals:
- Establish a regulatory framework that spurs innovation and research as well as ensure public safety.
- Ensure that individuals previously involved in the illicit market have opportunities in the legal market.
- Create low barriers to entry so that large companies and new entrepreneurs can compete on a level playing field.
- Ensure that the total tax burden doesn’t encourage a continuing gray or illicit market and instead contributes to a vibrant and competitive global industry.
Legal Cannabis Advocates Become Frustrated With Biden
The timing of the report could not be more convenient as President Joe Biden is facing frustration from cannabis legalization advocates. Richardson’s exclusion comes only a few weeks after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said that federal laws against the cannabis industry are inconsistent, making a national prohibition unnecessary.
Currently, 36 states have legalized medical cannabis and 18 have legalized recreational cannabis. During the last few years, the US cannabis industry has reported incremental growth as new state markets have opened and existing markets have matured or transitioned to recreational cannabis markets.
According to several media sources, Sha’Carri reportedly consumed cannabis in Oregon. Recreational cannabis is legal in Oregon, and we do not agree with the US Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to suspend Richardson and nullify her 100-meter dash victory at the US Olympic trials in Oregon.
Being Treated Differently from Other Olympic Champions
Two former Olympic champions, Michael Phelps (swimmer for the US) and Usain Bolt (sprinter for Jamacia) are the best athletes to ever compete in their respective spot and have publicly admitted to consuming cannabis. Before retiring, several photos of Phelps and cannabis paraphernalia were published online.
We believe the action taken by the US Anti-Doping Agency are inconsistent and need to be reviewed. The legal cannabis train has left the station and world-class athletes like Sha’Carri Richardson should not be punished in such an excessive manner.
Although the landscape of the legal global cannabis industry have changed, some countries have inconsistent policies. We believe that we are on the verge of seeing change in the US as it relates to legal cannabis and hope that the agency comes to its senses with Richardson.