Parker on Phelps' Pot Smoking: 'A Crime That Shouldn't Be One'


Conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker advocates marijuana decriminalization (and maybe even full-scale legalization?) in a startlingly sensible piece about the Michael Phelps bong affair. A few excerpts:

Our marijuana laws have been ludicrous for as long as we've been alive….

The U.S….boasts the highest percentage of pot smokers among 17 nations surveyed, including The Netherlands, where cannabis clouds waft from coffeehouse windows. Among them are no small number of high-ranking South Carolina leaders (we knew us when), who surely cringe every time a young person gets fingered for a "crime" they themselves have committed.

Other better-known former tokers include our current president and a couple of previous ones, as well as a Supreme Court justice, to name just a few….

Understandably, parents worry that their kids will emulate their idol, but the problem isn't Phelps, who is, in fact, an adult. The problem is our laws—and our lies….

It's time to recognize that all drugs are not equal—and change the laws accordingly.

Over at The Corner, Andrew Stuttaford observes: "This broken wreck of a man's failure to win any more than a pathetic fourteen Olympic gold medals (so far) is a terrifying warning of the horrific damage that cannabis can do to someone's health—and a powerful reminder of just how sensible the drug laws really are." Nick Gillespie and Radley Balko on the Phelps flap here and here. Me on what President Obama should have learned from his youthful drug use here.

[Thanks to Robert Stratton for the tip.]