Smoke Weed, Win More Olympic Medals Than Anyone Ever (Or Get Incarcerated)
Michael Phelps has done It. He has won more Olympic medals than anyone in the history of the Olympics. And, he did it after having smoked a plant that has landed millions in jails across the United States. In his three Olympic performances, he won more gold medals than Argentina has ever. He is the most decorated Olympian ever, with four more than the next-best Olympian, Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. In 2004 in Athens he won six gold medals, and eight more in Beijing four years ago. He won four gold medals in London.
Phelps has been crowned Olympic champion twice as often as the next nearest athletes, and would be ranked 36th among nations, one more better than Argentina. He has, in just three Olympics, the same amount of medals as the billion-strong nation of India has in the last 116 years. His career has been tainted by a bit of controversy, but nothing that cost him the support of the public. After Beijing, this photo was made public:
Armchair journalists derided the accomplished Phelps over the photo to the point where he had to publicly mull retiring from professional swimming. He lost sponsorships with companies who probably cost themselves for business as the U.S. public at large is generally open-minded of marijuana. No matter what his former sponsors think of it, Phelps’ career is now over, and he is the most decorated Olympian of all time. As one whose mind has been unlocked by the sometimes mind-opening powers of marijuana, Phelps is taking the accomplishment with strides, looking to chill in the years to come:
“I told myself I never wanted to swim when I’m 30,” Phelps said. “I’ve been able to do everything that I wanted.” So now, Phelps will travel after he leaves London. Over the past year, he has kept a journal, though he did not write much during the Games as he wanted to “absorb the scenes and chronicle later.”
“I like writing on planes,” Phelps said. “Easy to put my headphones on and let my mind take off.”
The greatest Olympian of all time has smoked weed. And still, millions of people sit in jails in the United States on trumped up, non-violent marijuana offenses. The drug war is a major factor in why the U.S. has the highest incarceration rates on the planet. As the U.S. barges ahead with a fanatic drug policy, the number of people incarcerated for drug offenses in state and federal prisons are more than 600,000.
“According to the US Department of Justice, 30-40 percent of all current prison admissions involve crimes that have no direct or obvious victim other than the perpetrator,” the U.S. government has stated. “The drug category constitutes the largest offense category, with 31 percent of all prison admissions resulting from such crimes.” Nearly a third of all prison admissions are from non violent drug offenses!
What Phelps teaches us is that the government can enforce utterly insane policies even if it harms a significant number of its own people. While one pothead can go onto be an Olympic hero, another talented individual can find him or herself suffocated behind bars for a non-violent, petty crime. More to the point, current marijuana laws are unsustainable and lead to the incarceration of thousands of innocent people, of all ages, whose lives can after a recorded arrest be made much more difficult to lead.