WALLED LAKE – Sha’Carri Richardson was hoping to fulfill a dream and win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
After winning the 100-meter at the US Olympic Trials in June with a time of 10.86, Richardson appeared to be on track to achieve that goal.
However, a positive cannabis test during the trials devastated his results and will prevent him from competing in the Olympics.
Cannabis is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, labeled as a performance enhancing drug.
This decision does not suit Jerry Millen, owner of Greenhouse of Walled Lake, which sells recreational and medical cannabis.
âI know a lot of professional athletes use cannabis. They don’t use it for performance. They use it for things like inflammation, relaxation, and anxiety, âMillen said. âI feel like (WADA) is probably filled with a bunch of people who don’t understand cannabis, and they’re more archaic than the law itself.
To show his support for Richardson and raise awareness of the stigma against athletes who use cannabis, Millen placed a 25 Ã 8 foot banner outside the Walled Lake greenhouse with Richardson on display.
“They won’t let her run, but what does that mean?” Do we stop trying to get this message out? Absolutely not. Because for me, cannabis should be federally legal, âsaid Millen. âThe Olympics should eliminate banned substances. Alcohol was once banned at the Olympics. Caffeine was once banned at the Olympics. Now you can use caffeine and drink a pot of coffee before you run. For me, caffeine is more of an enhancement than cannabis.
Richardson said the stress of her mother’s recent death, combined with the pressure to prepare for the Olympic trials, led her to use cannabis.
âMiss Richardson, I think she’s going to be, luckily or unfortunately, the catalyst to change this rule,â Millen said. âI guarantee you the Olympic Committee is now embarrassed because it was exposed for this stupid rule. Forty-seven countries have legal medical cannabis, and 19 states plus Washington DC have legal recreational cannabis. “
Millen offered Richardson $ 20,000 to make an appearance at the Provisioning Center in Ann Arbor, but he did not hear a response to the offer.
“I feel bad for her. She’s in a difficult position. The rule has to change. Olympians, unless you’re Michael Phelps or Flo Jo, it’s hard to make money being an Olympian.” Millen said. “They sacrifice a lot and they don’t make a lot of money. It was her chance to maybe make a career out of it. But now, because she used cannabis, and he is considered a performance enhancer, his career may be over. “
Millen has been studying the medical benefits of cannabis for 17 years and his website www.greenhousemi.com has informational videos for anyone interested in learning more about cannabis.
âI grew up as a kid on the DARE program and I’ve always been told how bad cannabis is because it is a drug. But, over the past 17 years, I have worked to promote cannabis as a medicine and have tried to convert many naysayers. I think we’ve done a great job across the United States showing the medical attributes. Now that it’s legal for recreation here in Michigan, I just think it’s time for these archaic laws and rules to be rescinded to accommodate our modern society, âMillen said.
âJust do your research. Go to our website. We have videos that explain what THC is, what CBD is, how you can use it to your advantage. The only thing I ask is this. If you are against cannabis, or if you are curious, just do your research. Cannabis may not be available to you, but there may come a time in your life when your loved one might need it. So get educated now.
The Walled Lake greenhouse is located at 103 E Walled Lake Dr. in Walled Lake.