She’s America’s weed-heart.
Supporters are sprinting to the cause of Sha’Carri Richardson, the track star barred from Olympic competition over marijuana use, with a petition that racked up more than 265,000 signatures in just over 24 hours.
“If it ain’t crack, let her on the track,” wrote Aliya C., who signed on to the “Let Sha’Carri Run!” petition sponsored by MoveOn Civic Action, a progressive lobbying group.
Richardson won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.86 seconds June 19 at the US Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, confirming her status as America’s fastest woman.
But she was handed a one-month ban Thursday after testing positive for THC, the active component of marijuana
Weed is legal for adult use in Oregon, but it remains banned by the International Olympic Committee’s World Anti-Doping Agency unless an athlete has been granted a medical exemption.
Richardson, whose colorful hair and strikingly long manicured fingernails made her a fan favorite, said she used cannabis in a “state of emotional panic” after learning of the death of her biological mother from a reporter one week before the trials took place.
“I know what I did,” Richardson told NBC News Friday. “I know what I’m supposed to do … I still made that decision.”
The MoveOn petition, launched on Friday and promoted to the group’s followers with email blasts, demands Richardson’s reinstatement to the US Olympic team, calling the pot ban “outdated and arbitrarily enforced.”
“In no world is marijuana a performance-enhancing drug for runners, and in more places in the United States and around the world, marijuana use is legal,” the petition reads.
While Richardson’s 30-day suspension disqualifies her from the 100-meter dash at the Tokyo Olympic Games later this month, she may be allowed to run in the women’s relays starting Aug. 5.