Sha’Carri Richardson wowed the entire nation when she won the Olympic trials for the 100-meter sprint with her iconic orange hair and big eyelashes and ran into the stands to find her grandmother.1 She obtained her place to represent our country, but the United States Anti-Doping Agency imposed a harsh punishment that forced her to miss the 2021 Olympics, which is why MoveOn members and allies delivered almost 600,000 signatures in person yesterday. to demand that Sha Que Carri run.
MoveOn member and runner Elena was excited for the upcoming Olympics, only to be crushed by the news that Sha’Carri was banned from competing because of a scandalous, outdated and irrational rule about marijuana. So he signed a MoveOn petition along with nearly 600,000 members, calling on USADA, the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency to let Sha’Carri run.
And that is why Elena organized with Isabella and Tom to deliver the petition to USADA. See MoveOn members, our NORML Colorado partners, State Representatives Naquetta Ricks and Jonathan Singer, and drug policy expert Professor Santiago Guerra, supporting Sha’Carri at a run and rally in Colorado Springs, where USADA is headquartered, a covered action Westword and the local news station KRDO, all of which added to the weeks of publicity that have fueled this issue and the leading cause of rewriting our marijuana laws in public discourse.2.3
The MoveOn members’ demands are clear: reverse Sha’Carri’s suspension and remove THC / marijuana from the list of banned substances. Marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug, it is legal where Sha’Carri was, and for decades it has been wrongly used to criminalize black and brown communities.
And we are not the only ones outraged by the US Anti-Doping Agency’s decision. Take a look at what has transpired over the past two weeks to support Sha’Carri:
- Nearly 600,000 MoveOn members signed the petition, the second-largest petition so far this year.
- Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamie Raskin formally asked USADA to end Sha’Carri’s suspension.4
- The #LetShaCarriRun hashtag took over Twitter, with celebrities and influencers like Debra Messing,5 David Zirin,6 and Adina Porter7 showing your support en masse.
- The massive petition from MoveOn members was featured in tons of articles on ESPN, “The Today Show”, NBC’s “Nightly News”, NPR, Black company, and many more.8,9,10,11
The fight against the criminalization of black, brown and indigenous people and communities for the use of marijuana continues. This week, US Senators Cory Booker, Charles Schumer and Ron Wyden introduced legislation that is a historic first step in undoing the damage caused by unjust drug policies. The legislation would decriminalize marijuana and invest the proceeds in restorative justice for long-suffering individuals and communities.12
Sha’Carri Richardson’s story is one of hope, greatness, and the power of collective action. Together, we can keep this momentum going. Will you share this graphic on Twitter today to show your solidarity with Sha’Carri Richardson?
Thanks for all that you do.
P.S. Don’t forget: whenever you feel outraged or want members to take collective action with you, you can start a petition here. It only takes a few minutes and can create a lasting impact.
1. “Olympic Track Star Sha’Carri Richardson: Grandma Hug Was ‘Unforgettable'” “TODAY”, June 25, 2021
2. “Colorado Springs Marijuana Supporters Gathering by Sha’Carri Richardson”, Westword, July 15, 2021
3. “#RunforShaCarri rally and petition delivery at US anti-doping agency Thursday,” KRDO, July 15, 2021
4. “AOC Urges US Anti-Doping Agency to End Suspension of Sha’Carri Richardson”, Axios, July 3, 2021.
5. Debra Messing Tweet, Jul 2, 2021
6. Tweet from David Zirin, July 2, 2021
7. Tweet from Adina Porter, July 4, 2021
8. “’Let Sha’Carri run!’ – the petition for Sha’Carri Richardson to race in Tokyo is nearing the finish line ”, ESPN, July 8, 2021
9. “Sha’Carri Richardson’s 1-month suspension means she will not compete in the Olympics”, “TODAY”, July 5, 2021
10. “Saturday Sports: Sha’Carri Richardson Suspended For Positive Marijuana Test”, NPR, July 3, 2021
11. “SHA’CARRI RICHARDSON’S REINSTALLATION PETITION HAS OBTAINED MORE THAN 450,000 SIGNATURES; SUSPENDED AFTER POSITIVE MARIJUANA TEST ”, Black company, July 5, 2021
12. “Senate Democratic leaders introduce bill to legalize marijuana” Role call, July 14, 2021