Wednesday 07 Dec 2016

Mellow Out
Jennifer Flaten

I squint again at the picture. Sure enough, it is Michael Phelps with what looks like an enormous glass tube, which the caption handily informs me is drug paraphernalia.

I am clueless about things like that; I had no idea that it was a pipe, or bong, whatever the kids call it these days.

In fact, I wouldn't have known it was Michael Phelps let alone that he was engaging in an illegal drug related activity if the media hadn't helpfully told me via a banner in 36 pt font.

Here is the deal, I don't care that he was doing drugs.

Really, he is a famous person, an athlete even; I expect drug use from those types of people. I must admit that I assumed that as an athlete, a fast one at that, that if he did drugs, it would be speed or some performance-enhancing drug. I never expected him to do pot.

I personally, think he is a grade A moron for doing drugs at what appears to be a huge party. Come on this kid is savvy (I thought) on how things work in the world, he had to know he would get his picture taken.

All celebrates are vulnerable especially when they are doing something naughty. This photo made some paparazzi very wealthy.

What I care about is that people are so quick to dismiss this as "just a little pot". It is an illegal substance, plain and simple.

I can't believe all the people jumping on the Phelps bandwagon proclaiming their love of smoking pot. Even other celebrities are speaking out about their own pot habits.

Whoopi Goldberg shows up on TV telling how she does a little of it now and then.

Okay, maybe she isn't an "A" Lister but she is on The View. Yes, I know, this is just a shameless way for her to grab attention for her self. Still, she is advocating an illegal activity.

Geez, I didn't see very many people supporting Winona Ryder when she shoplifted. I wonder why no one came forward claiming to shop lift now and again.

Rob Lowe was accused of making sex tapes, so how come no one raised their hand and said, "Aw shucks I make those to all the time, leave the guy alone".

Nope those crimes seemed worthy of our condemnation but, pot smoking seems to be tres cool.

What is it about pot that makes everyone forget that it is illegal?

After all, this is a mood-altering drug. It changes your brain chemistry and can lead to you feeling and acting differently.

No one wants meth or ecstasy in their backyard, but hey a pot farmer, no big deal.

You have a whole generation of people who cannot tell their kids (without being moral hypocrites) not to do drugs because they did pot as a kid, and in some instances still do it.

Why? Why exactly do you need this drug?

Oh sure I have heard all the arguments. It helps you relax, it makes you feel mellow etc. My question back is why do you need a drug to do that?

In fact, why do you need alcohol?

Why must people get so loaded on their chemical of choice in order to relax?

How many people have been to a gorgeous, expensive wedding only to find the bride or groom or both so drunk they can't stand up?

Nothing says classy like the bride vomiting on the dance floor.

How about the people paying to attend a concert or a sporting event, only to spend the entire event puking in the restroom due to over imbibing?

What is the point in that?

What makes our lives so stressful that we need to become oblivious to it with drugs and alcohol?

Furthermore, when did we lose the ability to relax by reading a book, doing a physical activity of some sort or just sitting quietly?

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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