Phelps Speaks To The Media; The Legalization of Drugs?

Ah, if you can’t get enough about Phelps, this evening he spoke with the Baltimore Sun about his infamous photo smoking some pot. This story has gotten a lot of play in the Baltimore-Washington region, and it’s safe to say that people from all walks of life have said one thing or another about this story.

Phelps, who said he “clearly made a mistake,” and that the past week has been both embarrassing and uncomfortable for him, spoke with The Baltimore Sun inside Meadowbrook Athletic Club after finishing his daily workout. While he still has goals he wants to achieve in the sport, he said he’s going to discuss it over with his family and his coach, Bob Bowman.

“This is a decision of mine that I’m not going to make today and I’m not going to make tomorrow,” Phelps said. “It’s going to require a lot of time and energy and a lot of thinking for myself. But also talking to Bob and talking to my family and just deciding what I want to do.

“Yeah, there are still goals that I have in the pool, 100 percent. But I’m not going to let anything stand in my way. If I decide to walk away, I’ll decide to walk away on my own terms. If it’s now, if it’s four years, who knows. But it is something I need to think about and decide what I want to do.”

Also, he talks about the impact this whole affair has had on his family:

The 23-year-old Rodgers Forge native said he realizes that his actions seem that much more foolish considering this is his second public slip up, following a DUI in 2004. Phelps said it “definitely wasn’t easy” to tell his mother, Debbie, a principal at Windsor Mill Middle School, about the picture.

“Seeing my mom reminded me of how it was the day after I got my DUI, and I swore to myself I’d never do that again,” Phelps said. “This is just a stupid thing of mine that I did, and I have to live with it.”

Phelps said he’s spent the past few days with his mom and his two sisters, Hilary and Whitney, after the photo was published in a British tabloid over the weekend.

“We’ve been talking a lot,” Phelps said. “I’ve been able to get back to my family. It’s part of my life I need back.”

Finally, he is asked if he’s a regular pot smoker — he says no.

“This was stupid, and I know this won’t happen again,” he said. “It’s obviously bad judgment and it’s something I’m not proud of at all. I will say that with the mistakes that I’ve made in my life, I’ve learned from them. Every one of them. And I’ve become a better person. That’s what I plan to do from here. It’s definitely not what I wanted, and it’s clearly not what my mom wanted.”

If he’s learned anything from this — he knows now to be real careful as to what he does in public. I’m sure he’ll be ok, but it looks like the drama combined with his public humilation may have taught him a harsh lesson. I don’t think Phelps’ trangression is the worst thing to happen in the world; however, if little episodes keep flaring up like this, he’ll be hurt dearly in terms of public opinion.

Finally, I have gotten a few comments about the legalization of drugs in previous posts due to this episode. Here’s my stance: There’s reasons why illegal drug use is a criminal offense.