Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sensemilla - Smoking Swimmer

There is an alleged picture of Michael Phelps allegedly smoking a bong, allegedly containing marijuana. At least that is how I would put it, were I an attorney representing Phelps. And it appears he will need representation - Yahoo reports that charges may be filed against Phelps:

A spokesman for Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who is known for his tough stance on drugs, said Tuesday the department was investigating.

"Our narcotics division is reviewing the information that we have, and they're investigating what charges, if any, will be filed," said Lt. Chris Cowan, a spokesman for agency.

...

"The bottom line is, if he broke the law, and he did it in Richland County, he's going to be charged," Cowan said. "And there's no difference between Michael Phelps and several other people that we arrest for the same type of a charge everyday."


Based on what evidence? A regrettable photo which could be any 23-year-old dark hared Caucasian male in a rear 3/4 view? Phelps' public statements and apology?

Yes, in the eyes of the law there is no difference between Phelps and any other person who may have been in a picture smoking a bong. But Phelps is a celebrity, an Olympian, and a role model for children. "Cowboy" sheriffs love to go after anyone in the public eye if it will help feather their nest.

Phelps has apologized publicly for the incident. We should let it go at that, and use it as a teachable moment for our children.

2 comments:

smallholder said...

I don't think he should have apologized, unless it looked like this:

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2009_02_01-2009_02_07.shtml#1233599710

My understanding is that the sheriff doesn't want to prosecute because it is a waste of resources, but the public's mania for "equal" justice for celebrities is pressuring him.

Polymath said...

The end of the Yahoo (AP) story makes the sheriff out to be a Miami Vice wannabe - fast cars, undercover, etc - back in the 80's.

Remember what Phelps was eating during his Olympic training?

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08132008/news/nationalnews/phelps_pig_secret__hes_boy_gorge_124248.htm

12,000 calories a day! Munchies!

I agree. He should not have apologized. Amen to equal justice, not just for those of us who are more equal than othrs.