Michael Phelps has nothing to apologize for. I understand the reality he faces, however, and why he has to say what he said. But let’s go beyond the breathless theatrics and think about the core issue. “He broke the law,” the pundits are saying, as if that is necessarily the end of the conversation. Sorry, but Phelps was not wrong; our marijuana laws are wrong. Really wrong.
Does anybody alive even remember why it was outlawed? No, of course you don’t – but you’ll do yourself well to look over the historical – and hysterical – record.
Let’s take a few choice quotes from the era of marijuana criminalization, shall we?
“Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.”
[1934 newspaper editorial in favor of criminalization]
“All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff is what makes them crazy.”
[Texas legislator arguing for criminalization]