Phelps got it wrong

He had a chance to change public perception.

I don’t actually blame him.  The anti-pot crowd is entrenched so deeply in their delusions about the evil marijuana plant that you’d have to essentially sacrifice your reputation, your future, everything, unless you kowtow to their judgment.

Instead of apologizing, as reported in the general media, like this article from CNN, he might have said, “I smoked pot.  It shouldn’t be illegal.  You people have it completely backwards; instead of the pot-smoking reflecting on my gold medals, the gold medals reflect on my pot-smoking.  You all say that pot smokers are shiftless losers, that it destroys your entire life, that it is the gateway to all that is damnable on this earth.  BUT I WON EIGHT GOLD MEDALS.  Idiots.”

Like I said, I can’t blame him.  He’s young, handsome, has his whole life to win more medals and get more sponsors and rake in the loot.  Why should he put himself on the chopping block just to try to end a moronic witch hunt.

It’s just disappointing, that’s all.  If he’d been drinking a beer, which according to statistics as well as common sense wreaks FAR more social havoc and destroys  many more lives than marijuana, no one would have blinked.

But partaking of the devil’s own herb?  Tsk tsk.  Bad times.

Don’t worry, buddy, they’ll forgive you.  You’re America’s darling, and hey, even Clinton admitted to smoking pot.  Just didn’t have a picture published of himself sucking the chamber dry, that’s all.  

And maybe in its own pathetic way, your little faux-pas might bring the US closer to a saner drug policy, eventually.  The advocates of legalization might be able to point back at you from the distant future, show the judge and jury how the medals around your neck were chiming merrily against the bong as you leaned over to take a big hit.

You could have been their hero, your framed portrait hung next to Marley in every dorm room, but this’ll have to do.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Phelps got it wrong

  1. stacybuckeye

    So, I’m guessing you are for the legalization of pot? 🙂 Me too, I think. But I’m not sure about Phelps. He’s already been busted for DUI, which I find inexcusable.
    He was at a party and he smoked pot. So what? But, squeaky clean companies who pay him money to be a role model have a right to drop him. I think it is totally blown out of proportion, but isn’t that what the media does?
    I can totally see a poster of Phelps smoking next to a Marley poster in college dorms across the country 🙂

  2. Joy

    I agree with stacybuckeye. I really wish he hadn’t done this so “publicly,” but, to me, it’s not that big of a deal. At least he fessed up and didn’t make any excuses. He didn’t say “I didn’t inhale!” He took responsibility so who am I to judge?

    My husband and I were talking about his last night and while we both agreed we wouldn’t have wanted to “explain” this to our young kids, we had to explain what oral sex was when the time wasn’t right (for us). We as parents sometimes have to explain things we aren’t ready for.

    “Role models,” after all, are just people like we are and I think I would feel way worse about him had he lied. We teach our kids to tell the truth at all costs so now we have Phelps telling the truth and still getting in trouble so there’s a fine line there. I’d be a little afraid of kids seeing that and thinking maybe telling the truth sometimes still gets us in trouble so maybe there are things it’s okay to lie about.

    I’m not surprised that he did this. So many people do it and we have no idea but I am a little disappointed that he did it IN this way. To public. He just wasn’t thinking but that to, is what happens when we’re young.

  3. I’m with you, Stacy – DUIs, which actually have the potential to harm others, is infinitely more damnable an offense. It is sad that sponsors are willing to accept that sort of thing but not marijuana use.

    Joy – I never thought of the lesson of truthfulness in this whole thing. That is a really good point. When are people ever rewarded for being forthright?

  4. el burro

    I’m not liking the general hypocrisy of it all. These big sponsor companies, run by people who either smoke(d) pot or are friends with people who do needing to appear “wholesome” to a public that smokes pot, in order for everyone to pretend that they would never, ever do that kind of thing. Getting pretty sick of the false fronts.

  5. It’s been many moons since my partying days, but I fully agree–alcohol is way more dangerous to others, and yet it’s perfectly legal. Methinks that has to do with the simplicity of regulation and taxation. Hard to tax or control backyard growers.

  6. I agree with you that he should have stood up to be counted, if that is his true position on the issue, however as a 24 year old athlete I think he is unlikley to have come to a concious decision that it is something that is worth fighting over. I imagine in is just something he does without thinking to much about the politics of it.

    That said, I do think there would be plenty of sponsors that would be willing to attach themselves to the Phelps brand regardless of his apology.

    It could however be argued that it is (ironically) a performance enhancer, as both the properties of being a muscle relaxant and a pain-reliever allow him to train harder and more frequently … but that is another issue entirely.

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