So what…It’s Just a little Pot

03 Feb

“so what. It’s just a little pot!”… that’s the comment I heard today when talking about 8x gold medalist Michael Phelps. Role model…on all the cereal boxes.

Certainly I am not the only one that thinks this is an outrage. Sure he’s a ‘kid’. Though 23 IS young, he’s not 15. A little past peer pressure, don’t you think? He was busted with a DWI. Anyone out there lose a family member to a drunk driver? Not so cute is it?

Now, his only excuse one more time is, “oh, I’m sorry. I used poor judgment.” Poor judgment was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Drinking and driving and then doing drugs (while being photographed) is WAY PAST poor judgment. We’re right up there with stupidity.

I have three great kids that look up to him and they ask me, “Mom, we know better. Why doesn’t he?” If the role models can’t keep it together, how do we expect our kids to?

I use to drink…. A LOT. My kids were watching. It wasn’t poor judgment. It was STUPID. My kids were watching. Thankfully, I cleaned up and have spent years teaching my children a better way (and asking for forgiveness for ever being so stupid). But what if I just said, “oh, sorry.” Or what if I said, “doesn’t matter..just a few drinks? I can handle it”

What if my teenager comes home after being busted with pot and says, “it was just a little pot”. Do I look the other way? Do I simply say, “oh he’s a good kid. Look, he made the honor roll and won a scholarship. So what he’s doing drugs. SO what his younger brother and sister are watching.”

Can you tell how furious I am that  this doesnt’ seem to be such a big deal to anyone? Where are the role models are children are to follow? And where is the accountability for anyone..especially those that hold such an audience?

Oh, that’s right…he did win 8 gold medals, so what does it matter if he’s doing drugs. It’s just a little pot.


Posted by on February 3, 2009 in encouragement


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17 responses to “So what…It’s Just a little Pot

  1. Lynn McMonigal

    February 3, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    So what? here is so what–POT IS ILLEGAL!!!!!!! It’s poor judgment, it’s stupid, it’s illegal. Those at the party said that it looked like this wasn’t the first time that Phelps had smoked it. That makes me wonder—does he thinking smoking pot was “poor judgment” or does he think it was “poor judgment” to do so in place where he would get caught??

    I can say one good thing, though. His fall from grace, so to speak, has helped me make a decision. I wrote a story, just for fun, for a friend about her and her favortie member of a boy band. It ended up being over 55,000 words long! Friend loved it and suggested I change the names and try to publish it. I was thinking on it, but realized there are things in it that do not exactly reflect Christ. My opinion of Michael Phelps has hit a very low point, and I don’t know if he will ever gain my respect again. I have decided to not publish that story because of it. My image, my reputation is too precious for me to risk it on a story that is not how I want to be known.

  2. Vivian

    February 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Oh, my word. I hadn’t heard that about Michael Phelps, and I’m extremely disappointed that he is so irresponsible and egotistical that he thinks he can brush such action off as unimportant.

    Eight gold metals does not give him the right to flaunt laws and rules of decency. Shame on him.

  3. Lea Schizas

    February 3, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    As I’ve written on several posts, kids nowadays follow stars, singers, ‘video’ stars as their role models. So what happens when a pro states ‘so what?’. I’m sure the kid will come back and say the same words. That’s why those who are in sports, movies, etc should consider the influence they are portraying.

  4. CJParker

    February 3, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I’m not going to condemn Mr. Phelps for what he’s done. I’ve made mistakes in my life that I wish I could turn back time and erase. I was young and stupid. He is young and apparently stupid. Hopefully he has learned from his mistake. I know I did. The best we can do is tell our children to learn from his mistakes, too.

  5. Katrina Wampler

    February 3, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Another person said, “he’s under pressure”

    Pressure… living in the spot light of 8 gold medals. Pressure?
    Pressure is being a single mom to 3 pre-teens living off $10 bucks an/hr while trying to decide if you should work another hour or spend it with the kids. Fighting off the electric guy when he comes to shut you down and fearing there isn’t enough food in the fridge. Pressure is trying to be everything to everybody while trying to keep your kids from following role models like Michael Phelps. Now that’s pressure.

    Maybe I should light one up to help get through it. That should help.

  6. unwriter1

    February 3, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I don’t look to sports stars or movie stars as heros. I’ve seen this happen all too often. I have a strong hatred for drugs of any kind. All too often this modern culture thinks that drug use makes them be more than they are. My hero’s are the scientists and the kids. Gold medals and statues do not make a hero.

  7. Paul McDermott

    February 3, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Sound familiar? Along the same lines as: “I may have smoked but I did not inhale …..”
    I’ve always preferred the “Cæsar’s wife” principle [i]viz.[/i] a role model has to be WHITER than white”

    We on this sie of The Pond have also had more than our fair share of unsatisfactory role models, and I’m including in this a politician who is also a successful author, caught redhanded in embezzlement, sentenced, served time (= c. HALF the tariff of the original sentence) ….. and GIVEN his politician’s job back as soon as he was released!!! He didn’t even have to fight a by-election!! RANT! RAVE!! GIBBER!!!

    Going to lie down in a darklened room for a few minutes ….. 🙂

  8. Deb Hockenberry

    February 3, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Michael Phelps is so stupid for doing those drugs even though kids are saying”but it’s just pot!” It was even dumber to be photgraphed at it along with driving drunk. What an idiot! I hope he gets his medals taken away from him. No wonder kids today say things like “but it’s just pot!” If he’s stripped of those medals maybe he’ll wake up. I realize he’s still young but he’s old enough to know better.

  9. Katie Hines

    February 3, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    That’s not the only thing I’ve heard about Michael Phelps. When he was interviewed during the Olympics, he told the interviewer what he ate for breakfast. It was full of non-healthy high calorie high fat foods. What kind of food it that for a role model?

  10. Marvin D Wilson

    February 4, 2009 at 12:08 am

    My take on this is not so cut and dried black and white as the other commenters I’ve read so far. Human beings are complex beings. We go through stages of learning. What happened to the Christian nonjudgmental Jesus love here, people? For one thing, marijuana is an herb created by god. Its temperate use is medicinal for some purposes. Michael Phelps may not be perfect – because of his talent and rise to fame he is in YOUR public eye. Turn that eye back at your SELF and ask if you were placed under the microscopic lens of public scrutiny – how clean and perfect would Your image be?

  11. Joyce A. Anthony

    February 4, 2009 at 12:34 am

    This is a touchy subject. As a mother, it is scary to know that the role model of many has said and done this. I also know I have brought my son up not to base his idea of right and wrong on what someone “popular” believes-but to follow his own understanding, which I hope and pray I have instilled in him. I have never accepted the excuse “But so and so did…” He has a perfectly find mind that God gave him to use .

    He knows I have not been perfect. He also knows I believe I was stupid and hope he doesn’t make the same mistakes. Not knoweing what was going through this kid’s mind, not knowing his history–I can’t judge him. Was he stupid? I believe so–but I also believe that he will also look back on this one day and admit he was stupid. Why should he ve judged on a harsher scale than the rest of us just because more people know of his acts?

  12. Katrina Wampler

    February 4, 2009 at 2:56 am


    though what Michael has done is unacceptable, the way it’s being handled its the major issue. Sure we all fail. Sure we all have our weaknesses, but to brush it off as poor judgment and once again say “it’ll never happen” is what I don’t get. With leadership comes responsibility. He has a responsibility to all the many children that aspire to be like him.

    Making mistakes is part of life as is learning from them. I did not get angry when he was arrested for DUI. I thought, “he’s got some growing up to do” and I hoped he’d learned his lesson. It was a good lesson for children watching that no one is perfect and if they learn and move forward, it was worth it.

    Making a second mistake of a higher caliber and giving the same “oh, sorry” speech won’t cut it. Is he going to be held responsible? None of his sponsors are pulling out. Why? Money. So we teach our kids that it doesn’t matter how many mistakes you make, as long as you have money.. you’re ok.

    Pointing a finger at judgmental christians is as judgmental as it gets. As a christian you’re telling me I”m suppose to be tolerant of all actions and all behaviors. I’m not suppose to get angry or demand justice. I’m suppose to light a candle and pray for them.

    Christians were never called to be doormats and even Christ Himself has a temper. I am my father’s child and I demand more for the people that PUT THEMSELVES in leadership positions than to simply chalk it up to spotlight pressure and poor judgment.

    I’m a mom fighting for a better world for my kids. Fighting for a safe place for my kids to grow and breathe and live their dreams. When the so-called role models around them are breaking laws left and right, putting themselves and others in danger, and smiling as they brush off the sting of handcuffs… I get a little ticked.

    Did no one teach him of consequences? Each time someone ‘falls from grace’ I try to teach my children that we are all human, we all fail, but that there is still a price to be paid. Even as a christian.

    And as always, I still love you, Marv.

  13. Mary

    February 4, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Michael Phelps or any other sports personality should not be role models for children just because they excel at a particular sport.

    So what he smoked some pot?
    It is his life, his body, and God himself will judge him on his behavior.
    It is not our job to judge him more or less harshly because he happens to be in the spotlight.

    Yes, Jesus had a temper. But Jesus had the authority to use his temper in the way he saw fit.

    Did Jesus not say “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”?

    I think our energy as Christian parents should not be fighting for a better world, but rather preparing them for the spiritual battles that lie ahead so that they will be able to live eternally with Jesus in Heaven.

    Michael Phelps did not put himself in a leadership position. Society did that.
    As for “pressure”, do you know what goes on in Michael Phelps head or what is in his heart?
    He could be going through some emotional turmoil and self medicating with drugs and alcohol. He could have an addiction… we don’t know that.

    If anything, Michael Phelps needs our prayers, not condemnation.
    We can hate the sin, but we are required to love the sinner.

  14. Marvin D Wilson

    February 4, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Oh sure, I understand your stance Kat. I’ve been known to get P-O’d at irresponsible behaviors flaunted by the famous & wealthy before, so I have no right to “judge” anyone. And as a Mom you are especially touchy about these kinds of things I’m sure. So but hey – you know me, I like to stir up emotions and bring out the full deck of cards in any discussion/debate playing Devil’s Advocate sometimes – and it worked here wonderfully – you made some excellent points in response with your ticked off self (smile)

    Still a complex issue though.

  15. Katrina Wampler

    February 4, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Again, what he did is not so much the issue as how it’s being handled.

    We ALL fall from grace. We ALL sin. And you’re right, Mary. He may have an addiction be going through some turmoil. That is not why I am upset.

    I am upset when someone simply says, “so what” when we’ve got a world full of impressionable kids watching and learning. He does wrong and everyone looks the other way. What does that teach the kids that want to be like him?

    And yes…he put himself there. With hard work and determination, he put himself in a leadership role. Winning 8 gold medals means you are the best… you are the top..and you’ve lead everyone else. He worked hard to obtain that leadership position and with it comes the responsibility to uphold it.
    I certainly do not hate Michael Phelps. I think he is an incredible athlete and a good kid with growing up to do. I am praying for him to get his life together though and lay off the alcohol and drugs…it only leads to trouble. My 12 year said, “doesn’t he know he’s going to ruin his life?” They are watching…they are learning.

    This no different than a Miss America finalist posing nude. She worked hard to be front and center for the world to see, just to blow it by stupidity.

    My kids have gone through hell and back..they know turmoil. They are fully aware of pain and the price of addictions. Does that mean I should look the other way when I find out they are doing “a little pot” or should I hold them accountable? After all, as Christians, to be sure they are under a microscope by nonbelievers watching to see if what my children believe in is worth it.

  16. Katrina Wampler

    February 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    And Marv,

    I ALWAYS appreciate your thoughts and pot stirring. I certainly was hoping for a wide variety of emotions and opinions here. (no fun if we all think the same).

    So, I appreciate your presence and comments.

  17. Mary

    February 4, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I take the stance that we live in this world, but not of this world.

    I disagree with your view of “leadership position”. 🙂

    As far as the way it was handled, I hardly expect anything more out of secular society today.
    Your children are a bit older then mine, and it sounds as if you used this as an excellent teaching moment.

    It also sounds like your children are smart enough to identify right from wrong and know that what Michael Phelps was doing is dangerous.

    Good job Momma! 🙂


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