Michael Phelps Bong Incident

This is what I enjoyed the most about David Harsanyi’s article – that it offers a broad view on both the Michael Phelps scandal and the contemporary repression of Cannabis.
In my reply to the article, I aimed to express my opinion concerning the real issues that oftentimes get concealed behind the shiny, hyped up issues the mass media seem to consistently adopt. I very much agree with the author’s overall opinion on the subject matter, so essentially this letter was written as an elaboration of the theme of stupidity: that expressed by Phelps himself, and that which sometimes looks inextricable in our modern society.
After reading on "Michael Phelps’ public stoning", I was compelled to express how I wholeheartedly agree with your central point: Phelps is an idiot. but then again, so is the war on cannabis. It’s discomforting to realize how in full on XXI century, our society is still so easily deceived into supporting the enforcement of such blatant and outrageous witch hunts. In this day and age we’re living, one might have supposed that the news a 14-times gold medalist is also a pot smoker could help people realize how the rumors concerning the dangers of marijuana might have been grossly exaggerated. but no, as it turns out all that conservative people focused on was how Michael Phelps no longer had a place among the pantheon of positive role models their children should strive towards. Just goes to show how our opinions are so heavily influenced, and our perspectives so easily shifted.
I think you said it best when you stated how "In reality, the most startling aspect of the Michael Phelps incident is that we produced an Olympic superstar dumb enough to place his gargantuan paws around a bong in full view of dozens of partygoers equipped with cell phone cameras." Granted, most pot smokers understand the aggressive prejudice they’re still subject to in our society, and some of them choose to keep their smoking habits in private. But not many of them have such high stakes as Phelps, and still he went ahead and exposed himself like that. He should have known better, and he should have thought before grabbing a bong in a college party (where someone was bound to snap a picture), but then – well, then he got high… and the rest is history.
In my opinion, Phelps committed two coarse errors: the first one was getting caught in public with a bong, and the second (possibly worse) was making a public statement telling how much he was sorry for his reckless, juvenile behavior. As you’ve written in the final portion of your article, most Americans who have smoked marijuana are unlikely to feel regrets about doing so – and Phelps himself, there’s a good chance he’s actually sorry only of getting caught. His judgment failed, all right: not necessarily by smoking pot, but absolutely by doing so in a scenario that would be likely to bring about repercussions that might compromise his career.
All in all, it goes without saying: Michael Phelps is an idiot. But all the while, he’s also a prodigious swimmer who has consistently displayed off-the-charts skill and capacity. So what if he smokes pot If nothing else, that just goes to show that pot smokers can become something other than slackers and parasites, as maintained by our dearly uptight cultural stereotypes. Regardless (and as far as I’m aware)- marijuana isn’t