Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Drugs, Redux

In light of the whole Michael Phelps brouhaha, I'm going to rehash (heh) my feelings on marijuana once more. The way I see it, there's two major problematic things with the way this all is going down:

1.) A 23-year-old smoked pot. Stop the fucking presses. Steroids or anything that's actually performance-enhancing would be a real, newsworthy issue, sure... but pot, in the off season no less, really shouldn't be seen as a career-ending moral failing or whatever. He's a spectacular athlete, and by every account I've ever heard a fairly stand-up guy; all that was true BEFORE this debacle and it's still true NOW. As far as bad behavior by role models goes, this one's pretty tame. Moral panic is, as usual, uncalled for.

2.) There's no mention anywhere in this of prosecution. Now, don't get me wrong, I certainly don't WANT Phelps to be prosecuted for pot use, as that would turn silly brouhaha into flat-out tragedy and farce. But, the fact that it's nowhere near the table highlights the point of my previous post: pot prosecution is entirely discretionary, and the discretionary habits of prosecutors follow the classical lines of privilege. Famous white dude gets different treatment than a poor black dude would. And that's fucked up.

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