I don't know about anybody else, but I feel very bad for Michael Phelps. Okay, so he did a stupid thing. He smoked some dope. Not smart. But he also achieved an unprecedented eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. Michael Phelps is aware of the fact that he is a role model for younger kids, and he did a bad thing. Phelps' reputation may now be tarnished beyond repair. Sponsors who had rushed to sign him up are now dropping him like a hot roach clip.
I would more concerned about the fact that in 2004 he pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol. Why didn't that affect his chances of competing in the Olympics? Because we still have double standards about drugs and alcohol. Thousands of people die in car accidents in Canada and the US each year, and one-half of those deaths are alcohol related.
The physical and social effects of alcoholism are devastating, but alcohol is legal and society shows that by drinking, you will be viewed as glamorous and sophisticated.
Under the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations, marijuana is legal in Canada for medical purposes. However, it's strictly regulated and it's only for severely ill people, and that obviously does not apply to someone like Michael Phelps.
Maybe I am a too liberal about these things, but I think folks need to rethink the knee-jerk reaction to a young man behaving like, well, a young man. The Americans just elected a new President of the United States, the top job in the world, as it were, and he admitted to using drugs when he was a young man. "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though," he says.
Oh, good. No smack.
I'm not a teetotaller, but I think we need to get over the double standard that booze is okay, and marijuana is not. And I really think we need to stop expecting other folks to be super-human. We are all human. There but for the grace of God goes any one of us.