Monday, February 02, 2009

Phelp's Pot

I am, frankly, happy to see that a few tokes by Michael Phelps on a bong are not getting very far in the media -- despite the best efforts of the always atrocious British press to make a controversy out of every little thing, as they always do.

It's just pot. It's no worse than alcohol, and, in terms of the damage each inflicts on society, probably even less benign. All of our recent presidents have done it -- and worse -- and you can hardly be a normal member of society and not have tried marijuana (at least) in your youth. There's almost something wrong with you if you have not.

When are we going to stop playing this stupid game of demonyizing pot, spending billions on a drug war that doesn't matter (and, worse, gets no results), and imprisioning perfectly sane people who like to get a little high (no different than a little buzz)?

The problem, I suspect, is that too many companies who run prisons and too many enforcement agencies who have nothing better to do are getting rich/jobs off this scheme.

This is really getting insane.

ADDITION: Tunku Varadarajan of wrote: In the hierarchy of life forms on this, our earth, the British tabloid journalist lies somewhere between the hagfish and the dung beetle. However, a story Sunday in the News of the World (proprietor: Keith Rupert Murdoch) has made me scratch my chin and wonder whether we are, in fact, being a tad unkind to the dung beetle.

And here's the best part: Given that Michael Phelps' career would have remained blissfully undestroyed had the paper chosen not to publish the photograph, one has to marvel at the amoral audacity of the News of the World: in purporting to report on the potential harm to Phelps' image and career from his having smoked cannabis, the newspaper was, in fact, perpetrating that very harm.

It's no different than the Limbaugh's/Hannity's/Beck's of the world, who say the most outrageous things they can get away with because they know that people like to be outraged. It only adds to their ratings.

It is a screwed up world.

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