Michael Phelps and Marijuana
Winner of a record eight Olympic gold medals, swimmer Michael Phelps, foolishly allowed himself to be photographed taking a hit of marijuana from a bong. With millions of dollars in endorsement deals a stake Phelps has already apologized for his actions promising never to do it again.
Despite the request for forgiveness this incident has a much greater potential to harm Phelps’ prospects than a previous drunk driving arrest. Commentators are questioning the sincerity, asking was he sorry he did it or was he sorry he got caught? And, of course, the charge that he has failed to provide a good role model, thereby hurting the nation’s youth, is being made.
However, if marijuana were legal then the America’s young swim fans would not know about Phelps’ smoking habits because the picture would not be a news story. In fact, the whole situation is an indictment of cannabis prohibition. It is not very likely that this photo depicts the first time Phelps has used marijuana, yet none of the alleged reasons such use must be punished severely can be found in the swimmer’s behavior. Because of his prowess as an athlete he is one of the most scrutinized people on the planet but there have been no signs of murderous rampages, blatant insanity, or any violent actions. He often appears in public wearing only a speedo with no hint of needle tracks indicating the use of heroin or any other drug through injection. Also, is anyone seriously going to accuse Michael Phelps of being apathetic and lazy due to amotivational syndrome?
There is no damage to Michael Phelps that can be attributed to the use of marijuana other than the fact that the press found out about it. That this one photo can instantly turn a beloved icon in to a disgraced loser says more about the hypocrisy of our society than it does about him.comments powered by Disqus
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