Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after a photo in a British newspaper Sunday showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe. It's not the greatest picture in the world, just a profile of a handsome guy with 98 medals around his neck toking a bong. :-)
In a statement to The Associated Press, the swimmer who won a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games did not dispute the authenticity of the exclusive picture published Sunday by the tabloid News of the World.
"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in the statement released by one of his agents. "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." Yes he was stupid, but only for apologizing.
Here is the full story from the LA Times.
Michael should not have apologized. Michael should have said 'Yes, I have smoked pot. So what? Everyone else I know does also, and it does not impair my abilities in any way. It is not my behavior which should change. It is the stupid laws that should change. I use it responsibly.'
Of course, Michael Phelps did not say that. Neither did Judge Larry Korda. Too bad. If more people would be more open about how they use pot personally and professionally, there would be less and less stupid laws on the books. We would have a freer society. I blog about the injustice of pot laws frequently on http://www.kentvent.blogspot.com/, and I have a new article coming out this week on ten reasons to be high about pot in 2009. One of them is that so many celebrities with talent get popped, it sends a message that you can achieve professional success while occasionally smoking a joint.
Still, the swim boy disappoints. He could have said 'so what? so I smoke dope, no big deal.' Instead, he apologizes. The DUI charge years ago was worse. Get over it, America.