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World Anti-Doping Agency to Reconsider Ban on Cannabis

by Team Marijuana News

Two months after the United States’ top women’s sprinter was declared ineligible to compete at the Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for marijuana, the international organization responsible for regulating banned substances in sports said it was ready to revisit its prohibition on marijuana.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced that it would accept an endorsement from its Prohibited List Expert Advisory Group and launch “a scientific examination of the status of cannabis.” Cannabis is on the list of banned substances by WADA, and the agency said it will continue to be until 2022.

The news comes on heels of the July suspension of Sha’Carri Richardson, who was the winner of the 100-meter race at the U.S. Olympic trials earlier in the summer. Richardson was suspended for a month after the United States Anti-Doping Agency revealed that she had been tested positive for cannabis. This occurred weeks before the Tokyo games were scheduled to begin.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency as well as the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee adhere to the WADA banned substance code.

Richardson’s suspension at age 21, was widely mocked, and even criticized by a lot of people in track and field. Many observers from the track and field world observed the inconsistency of the ban on marijuana even as a growing number states and even the federal government are moving towards legalizing it.

(The USADA’s official reasoning for banning marijuana use among its athletes is that pot poses a health and safety risk to athletes and that cannabis can be performance-enhancing.)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki expressed her displeasure over the suspension, pointing out that Richardson’s mother had recently passed.

“It stinks,” Psaki said in an interview on cable news at the time. I don’t believe there’s a better definition. She’s lost her mother; she’d been through a tragic experience and she’s also the most fast woman in the world. I believe she’s sending a message to a lot of little girls out there that you can achieve this. We all are aware of the rules. Maybe we should look at them once more. We must be respectful of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s role and the U.S. Olympic Committee’s decisions. It’s just sad.”

Other voices in politics slammed the suspension.

“Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug unless you’re entered in the Coney Island hot dog eating contest on the Fourth of July,” said Representative Steven Cohen, a Democrat who represents Tennessee’s ninth district. “To take her right of appearance, and her dream, away is absurd.”

Cohen called on his colleagueson Capitol Hill to move forward with cannabis reform.

“Congress should ensure that these problems do not become a problem in the future. We deschedule marijuana. It is up to the states to decide. If Richardson had gotten rip-roaring drunk on margaritas, Red Bull or whatever else you drink these days, lagers, she’d have been fine because it wouldn’t have shown up in her system, and if it had shown up in her system–if it had been .02 alcohol–she still would have been allowed to run” Cohen said.

“But for marijuana that could have been a couple of days ago, and just one or two puffs and she’s gone. Let’s be honest,” he continued. “The War on Drugs is an absolute failure. Nancy Reagan was wrong. Everybody who followed her and others who said, ‘Just say no,’ were not right because it wasn’t enough. Let’s get this bill passed, and let’s decriminalize marijuana and get our people to a place where they’re not affected by the cultural slack of the United States Congress.”

Richardson however, on her part, has acknowledged her decision.

“I want to take responsibility for my actions,” Richardson said in an interview after news of the positive test result was announced. “I am aware of what transpired and what I should not have done. I know what I am not allowed to do, and I still made that decision. I am not making excuses or seeking sympathy in my situation, but being in that situation of my life and finding something similar to it, something that I could say has affected my life positively as well as negatively when it comes to my relationship with my mother. That was definitely an issue for me.”

The post World Anti-Doping Agency to Think about Ban on Cannabis appeared originally on High Times.

This post was originally published on this site

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