A Dope on Dope
February 8, 2009
I’m not much of a sports buff, so it’s taken a little while for the nationwide hissy fit over Michael Phelps’ civilization-threatening (and, apparently, career-killing) faux pas with a marijuana pipe to reach my oblivious ears. Reading this foam-flecked columnist carrying on about the incident, I had to wonder who was smoking dope — the swimmer or the writer:
Phelps has not denied or confirmed anything. He has instead apologized for setting a bad example, which it most certainly was. No matter how many people defend marijuana and extol decriminalizing it, there are studies that say the stuff is bad for important functions like reasoning, and can lead to worse abuses.
On one side, an athlete who has managed his career climb so well it netted him eight Olympic gold medals; on the other, a copyhack reciting the kind of drug-war propaganda that has sixth-graders snickering behind their hands as the DARE officer wastes their classroom time. “The stuff is bad for important functions like reasoning”? Maybe Phelps’ dealer should send a couple bales of his finest to the New York Times sports desk. It can’t do much harm and it may help.
I don’t have any truck with marijuana — my vices are strictly off the shelf — but the only impaired reasoning I can see here belongs to George Vecsey. Dopes shouldn’t write about dope.