19:10 GMT25 July 2021
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    Earlier, American athlete Sha’Carri Richardson was banned from taking part in the Japan Olympics 100-meter race after testing positive for a chemical that can be found in marijuana. She was also suspended for 30 days.

    US Democratic House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Friday to share her opinion about the disqualification of the athlete Sha’Carri Richardson over the runner's purported use of marijuana, observing that the criminalization of cannabis is "an instrument of racist and colonial policy."

    She urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reconsider its 30-day suspension of Richardson and other athletes who have been penalized for marijuana use, prompting critical comments in Twitter threads.

    "The criminalization and banning of cannabis is an instrument of racist and colonial policy. The IOC should reconsider its suspension of Ms. Richardson and any athletes penalized for cannabis use", Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. 

    She also referred to the earlier decision by the IOC to ban swimming hats suitable for afro hair, calling it "deeply troubling".

    Users immediately reminded AOC that cannabis is prohibited by the rules, and Richardson, as a professional athlete, could not have been unaware of the stipulations for particptaing in the sports event.

    ​Others suggested that Ocasio-Cortez should "stop trying so hard" and accused her of racism.

    ​Someone shared some screenshots allegedly made from Richardson's own social media account in which she appeared to be incautious in her own rhetoric. 

    ​Richardson asserted that she used marijuana to cope with the recent death of her mother. On 1 July, after her story was picked up by multiple media outlets, the athlete took to Twitter with the laconic comment: "I am human".

    She has not accused the IOC or any other agencies that clarify in their rules that the use of marijuana is prohibited at sports competitions of racism.


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    cannabis, marijuana, colonialism, US, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, AOC
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