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    Posted February 6, 2009 by
    Chandler, Arizona
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Phelps suspended

    Michael Phelps did nothing wrong



    Michael Phelps, the gold medal winning swimmer and one of the most prolific athletes of the last 100 years was recently photographed smoking pot which has caused an uproar across America - but for all the wrong reasons.  Phelps' athletic career is now in peril because of a 3 month suspension handed down by USA Swimming because of the photo, and he is also possilbly facing criminal charges for the incident.



    What's wrong with this picture (literally, and figureatively)?  Phelps is clearly one of the best atheletes in the sport, he is renown as a very good person, as well as a model citizen until the photo in question recently surfaced.  He has done great work for charity, notably founding the Michael Phelps Foundation with the one million dollar bonus he was paid by Speedo. 



    So what is the obsession with punishing this great American for smoking some pot?  Marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug, and it is also not nearly as dangerous as alcohol which is legal.  Marijuana can resolve many problems, both physical ailments and for holistic purposes such as stress relief.  Marijuana has never led to a death by overdose, yet every day people die of alcohol poisoning.  If Phelps had been shown drinking a beer there would be nothing wrong.  The reality is: Phelps was taking part in a fun, stress relieving, and safe activity in his private life and as such he should not be punished for choosing to live his life the way he sees fit. 



    We as a society need to come to concencus that marijuana, while currently illegal, should no longer be banned.  It is renewable, inexpensive, safe, and fun!  In relation to other things society deems okay such as tobacco and alcohol, marijuana does not lead to dependence, withdrawl like cigarettes or alcohol, and the extreme intoxication that is found with alcohol is absent in marijuana.



    Finally, some will argue that even though marijuana is safer, less addictive, and less dangerous than alcohol that he should still be punished for doing something considered illegal.  This argument is patently absurd and should be rejected out of hand.  One of our Founding Fathers and hemp farmers, Benjamin Franklin, once remarked: They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.  When a person uses an arguement against good, common sense and defers their personal liberty to the whims of the state, that person deserves neither liberty nor saftey, and they are actively working to erode their basic human right of privacy.



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