Friday, February 6, 2009

First, The Wheaties Box.
Next, The Funyuns Bag.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been suspended from competing for three months, after a photo surfaced of him smoking pot at a party. Hardly a punishment- ninety days of wake & bake- but, aside from Kellogg, none of his sponsors have jumped ship, and public opinion still seems largely in his favor. This is a good thing. Despite the myopic double-standard our culture maintains about drugs, (cocaine, bad; Ambien/Prozac/Celexa/Viagra/ad infinitum, good), the outrage over Phelps' high time has been largely nonexistent. The kid already has a DUI and he was hitting that bong like a pro, so he's no first-time offender. And Americans are clinging to any bright spots we can find these days, even if it happens to be a freakish-looking, overachieving merman.

The encouraging thing seems to be that people just aren't that bent about marijuana anymore. The more disenchanted the public becomes with Big Pharma, the more they realize that the pro-pot people still have millions of working brain cells. Rather than the traditional media mea culpa, Aquaman should embrace this temporary notoriety as a big "suck it" to anyone still clinging to Reefer Madness-era superstitions about marijuana. The guy takes the exact opposite of a performance-enhancing drug, and he still won EIGHT gold medals.

When the first two decades of your life consist of- eat, sleep, swim, repeat- you gotta be able to have some fun. Unless anyone expects Bill Maher or The Black Crowes to medal in fencing in 2012, Michael Phelps is the poster boy we NORML members have been looking for.

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