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Connections: Addressing the stigma surrounding marijuana

Sprinting star Sha’Carri Richardson was a gold medal contender for the Tokyo Olympics, which begin next Friday. But after testing positive for marijuana at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Richardson has been suspended and will miss the Games. The sprinter said she used THC to help cope with her mother’s death. Congressman Jamie Raskin and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to end Richardson’s suspension.

While the agency said it wants to mitigate “harsh consequences” and change the rules regarding marijuana – which is not a performance-enhancing drug for sprinters – it replied that it "does not make or have a direct vote on the anti-doping rules" and it must enforce them. Critics of the suspension say it’s time to address the stigma surrounding marijuana. This hour, our guests address that stigma, especially in light of the drug’s legalization in New York State. Our guests:

  • Mary Kruger, executive director of Roc NORML
  • Jasmin Reggler, house coordinator for St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, and political coordinator for the City-Wide Tenant Union of Rochester 
  • Barbara Rivera, lead tenant organizer for the City-Wide Tenant Union of Rochester

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.