The White House and the Sha’Carri Richardson ripple effect • S. Dakota advocates eye 2022 • Colorado’s new cannabis law challenged • & more…

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The Sha’Carri Richardson ripple effect continues. 

On 2, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that rising track and field star Sha’Carri Richardson would be suspended for one month for cannabis consumption, which ultimately led to her inability to participate in the Olympics

“The rules are the rules,” President Joe Biden told a reporter the following day, adding, “whether that should remain the rule is a different issue.”

USADA, it turns out, believes that the “rules concerning marijuana must change,” according to a letter addressed to US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Jamie Raskin, Vice Chair and Chair, respectively, of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, in response to the lawmakers’ letter to the USADA demanding change. 

The USADA’s response, released on Friday, noted that the rules are set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), quoted Biden’s aforementioned sentiment, and promised to “continue to advocate for rule changes which would better address tragic situations like Ms. Richardson’s.”

+ Related: On Friday, too, Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Earl Blumenauer wrote their own letter to USADA demanding change. And, in response to a Financial Times story with the headline “White House to push for rethink on cannabis use in sport,” the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy tweeted, “As stated previously, ONDCP will ask WADA to gather additional information on its cannabis policies. ONDCP did not state that it will ask WADA to ‘loosen restrictions’ or ‘rethink’ its policy.” 

South Dakota cannabis advocates gear up for 2022.

As Cannabis Wire recently reported, lawmakers in South Dakota are already talking about adult use, and medical cannabis has taken effect, all while a Supreme Court decision looms on the future of the adult use measure passed by voters in November. 

Now, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the group behind the 2020 push, announced that it has “filed five ballot initiatives with the South Dakota Legislative Research Council for review.” 

Four of the initiatives are focused on adult use legalization, and the fifth “would repeal South Dakota’s ballot initiative single subject rule,” which is the rule at the center of the legal challenge against the voter-passed initiative.

“However,” the announcement continues, “if is fully restored by the South Dakota Supreme Court, then the three sponsors will not advance the initiatives.”

Lawsuit: ’s new law placing limits on medical cannabis is “unlawfully restricting patients.”

As we reported last month, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed into law HB21-1317, a bill that will create new limits on the state’s cannabis industry. The bill drew lobbying attention, we found, from PAX Labs to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“The Governor is extremely proud and supportive of our well regulated and legal marijuana sector in Colorado. Coloradans voted to guarantee their access to recreational and medical marijuana in our state’s constitution and Governor Polis is committed to upholding that right,” Polis spokesperson Conor Cahill told Cannabis Wire, at the time.

“Part of our state’s success in being a trailblazer for legalized marijuana is the strength of our regulatory framework. This bill is a modest update to our regulatory framework to take further steps to ensure we are protecting our children.”

Now, the new law faces a legal challenge filed on behalf of Benjamin Wann, a 19 year-old medical cannabis patient with epilepsy. The lawsuit says that the law is “unlawfully restricting patients from accessing their constitutionally protected right to the amount of medical marijuana provided.” 

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