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Biden said ‘the rules are the rules’ when asked about Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension for marijuana use

  • President Joe Biden said “the rules are the rules” when asked if Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension was fair.
  • But the president went on to question if the rules should remain that way.
  • Richardson, 21, tested positive for THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, at the US Olympic Team Trials.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Joe Biden said “the rules are the rules” on Saturday when a reporter asked whether he thought Sha’Carri Richardson’s one-month suspension for marijuana use was fair.

But the president went on to question if the rules should remain that way.

“The rules are the rules,” Biden told reporters. “And everybody knows the rules going in, but whether it should remain that way is a different issue.”

“I was really proud of the way she responded,” he added.

Read more: Banning Sha’Carri Richardson from the Olympics for weed is outdated. So is the idea that weed slows you down.

Richardson, 21, tested positive for THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, at the US Olympic Team Trials, where she finished first in the 100-meter race. The suspension in light of the positive test put her qualification for the Tokyo Olympics in jeopardy.

Richardson said she took marijuana after she learned from a reporter that her biological mother died.

“To hear that information come from a complete stranger, it was definitely triggering. It was definitely nerve-shocking.” she said on NBC’s Today show. “No offense to him at all, he was just doing his job, but it put me in a state of mind of emotional panic.”

“I’m not making an excuse or looking for empathy in my case,” she said. “However, being in that position in my life, finding out something like that … Dealing with the relationship I have with my mother, that definitely was a very heavy topic on me.”

Biden’s comments came after Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted the decision on Friday.

“The criminalization and banning of cannabis is an instrument of racist and colonial policy,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a post on Twitter. “The IOC should reconsider its suspension of Ms. Richardson and any athletes penalized for cannabis use.”



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