Monday, February 02, 2009

Legalize It

I got home from my Super Bowl party last night to find this story about Michael Phelps smoking marijuana and having a photo of the event prominently displayed in a British tabloid. This paragraph made me very angry:
"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said. "I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
I'm not mad at Phelps, just the culture that requires these pathetically staged mea maxima culpas for behavior that is flat-out ordinary. It's not that I would react similarly if Phelps had been photographed under the Manhattan Bridge taking a hit from a crack pipe. But pot at a party?

I was very substance-averse until fairly late in life, for various reasons. I barely drank in college (I'd say I had two beers over the course of four years). And while I've become a more comfortable drinker -- ahem -- as I've aged, I've never tried a hard drug and I'm not sure I've ever been in a room where people were doing hard drugs. (Unless certain concert halls count as "rooms.") I say all this only to establish that I run with a pretty clean crowd, and yet . . . I would say that a very small percentage of my friends and acquaintances have never smoked pot. I also have known several people whose behavior was far less affected by a joint than it was by, say, three cocktails. This forced "horror" in the face of marijuana use is juvenile and, like so many juvenile things, massively irritating.


Blogger Kraig Smith said...

And there goes my next blog topic down the drain. THANKS, John.

8:51 PM  

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