Pubdate: Thu, 05 Feb 2009
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 San Jose Mercury News
Author: Garth Van De Vanter


There have been many criticisms and doubts thrown at Michael Phelps
regarding the photograph taken of him smoking marijuana. Many people,
such as Mercury News columnist Ann Killion, have taken this as a sign
that Phelps is not ready for the responsibility that comes with being
an idol in our society, especially because of his emphasis on
inspiring young people.

I would like to propose that we look at the lesson that this incident
should really be teaching us: A bit of marijuana won't make success
impossible. This incident is an opportunity to begin tearing down the
false assumptions regarding marijuana's supposedly harmful effects,
and to show people that, when used responsibly, it is a safe
recreational activity that will not demolish lives.

Garth Van De Vanter

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