Left: Michael Phelps and the bong hit seen around the world.
There is no better example of what a screwed-up country we live in, that an amazing and heroic Olympic champion is currently being ostracized and shamed for choosing the safest drug in the entire world to relax with, instead of a truly dangerous one, like, say, alcohol.
How many deaths due to alcohol IN ONE YEAR, around the world? Include the domestic violence, the homicides, the vehicular manslaughter, and all the rest of it.
How many deaths to due cannabis HAVE EVER BEEN RECORDED? IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD? None. Ever.
Alcohol is poison and rots the body. Marijuana is known to reduce the risk of several conditions (i.e. Parkinson's) and has an anti-spasmodic effect that is great for general spasticity, muscle strains and arthritis. It is a safer alternative than ibuprofen, antidepressants and insomnia meds by far, with few if any side effects.
Now, what if Michael Phelps had picked up some PROZAC or some other antidepressant that half of America is currently ingesting in record numbers? No doubt, that would have been widely considered just fine. Taking a drug with such a high risk of documented side effects (by comparison) is so acceptable, these drugs are advertised on TV every single night in prime time, no less. And if he had taken one of those? No one would have criticized or challenged him. Instead, he chooses the drug with the lowest incidence of side effects... in other words, he deliberately chose the healthiest alternative, and they are all over his ass.
Insanity. Just insanity.
Of course this country once elected Dubya; so there is certainly some precedent for this kind of dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks stupidity. Some people in this country, obviously, just have it all ass-backward.
Get DRUNK like a PROPER AMERICAN, Michael Phelps! Put down that reefer, which will wear off in 3-4 hours and reduce your muscle tension, allowing you to sleep peacefully... much better to go out and drink a few and yell and scream and get in fights over women. That's the AMERICAN WAY.
Instead, the various powers-that-be are now demanding Phelps issue statements claiming he made "bad choices"--when in fact, he made THE BEST CHOICE. Alcohol would have been a BAD CHOICE; nonetheless, if he'd had his photo taken whilst chug-a-lugging a few and hollering like an out-of-control frat-boy, he'd probably be asked to make a TV commercial for beer. (A whole new set of endorsements!)
Disgusting. Associated Press reports:
Is this country a total mess, or what?
The sport's national governing body [USA Swimming] also cut off its financial support to Phelps for the same three-month period, effective Thursday.
"This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero," the Colorado Springs-based federation said in a statement.
To make things worse, this photo was supposedly taken in Richland County, South Carolina, and the local gung-ho sheriff, Leon Lott, is threatening to prosecute him. For a misdemeanor offense!
Of course, if this photographed event had occurred in California or Oregon, Phelps could say he got some medical pot for his bad knees or whatever, and it would all be perfectly legal. There would not even be any discussion, except maybe some giggling over it. So, different laws for different regions... do the morals change depending upon where you live? I guess smoking some reefer is a "bad choice" in SC, but not on the west coast.
Well, that makes a lot of sense. That surely sends an unambiguous moral message to the kids, doesn't it?
(((spits for emphasis)))
EDITED TO ADD: Ta-Nehisi Coates's thread about Phelps has excellent comments and discussion also.