Thursday, February 5, 2009

Legalize It

Now Michael Phelps has been suspended by USA Swimming.

None of this would be an issue if our nation could get over its puritanical dread of mild drugs. The guy was on a break from training and went to a party. Damn, half the country would be suspended from something or another if the wrong person took a picture of them and decided to publish it.


Hank Bostwick said...

Amen, brother.

Hank Bostwick

Chris Berry said...

I can certainly understand if the companies that pay him millions to endorse their products decide that his behavior is not in keeping with their corporate image. The funny thing is that just a few weeks earlier, the female lead from the wildly popular teenage vampire movie Twilight was caught in a nearly identical photo. There was absolutely no public outcry about her suitability as a role model for young people.

Suspending Phelps from competitive swimming on the basis of a photograph is far more disturbing than the loss of endorsement contracts. While the likelihood that he was smoking anything other than pot in that photo is infinitesimally small, it is not zero. There is no conclusive evidence that he committed a crime or used a substance banned by USA Swimming.

You are absolutely right about puritanism. We waste untold billions prosecuting victimless crimes in this country. It would make far more sense to regulate and tax these activities instead of criminalizing them.