“He was the gold medal winner of bong hits.”

Olympic superhero Michael Phelps is a pot head.  I think it’s great; yet another amazingly successful person to remember every time the government says that smoking pot will turn you into a wasted heroine addict living on the street.

Phelps, not surprisingly, is trying to save some of his advertising value by calling his actions “regrettable.” But what’s the difference between Phelps the superstar athlete before this weekend and Phelps now? Only that he got caught smoking pot. Otherwise he’s the exact same person. So if he loses ad deals and money, it won’t be because of any inherent harm in the drug, it will be due to the stigma of the drug. Marijuana doesn’t hurt people. Getting caught smoking marijuana does.

UPDATE: Radley Balko writes what he’d like to hear Michael Phelps say:

I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your goddamned business. I work my ass off 10 months per year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.

The rest is only better.

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3 Comments on ““He was the gold medal winner of bong hits.””

  1. Texas Redhead Loser Says:

    While I agree with the sentiment, Wheeler, I’m not sure I can vote to include Phelps on the list of successful pot-smokers. This guy knows how much money is at stake with his endorsements and he still allowed himself to be photographed with the bong. That was stupid, especially when coupled with his prior DUI. I think Phelps just reinforces the stereotype that people who smoke pot are idiots. Since we all know correlation is not causation, let’s look elsewhere for our models.

    (If I considered any part of my life a success, I would happily apply for a position on the list.)

  2. Wheeler Says:

    when i’ve heard him interviewed he hasn’t struck me as being too bright. i guess he reinforces the “all athletes are idiots” stereotype, too.

    (my kids think you’re alright. you’re the cool aunt. that’s got to count for something.)

  3. coffee Says:

    at least Phelps was man enough to acknowledge his actions and apologize — he’s still a decent role model despite the hypocritical media storm

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