Richland County Sheriff Looking to Charge Phelps For Pot Incident

On the one hand, the sheriff has a point:

“If someone breaks the law in Richland County, we have an obligation as law enforcement to investigate and to bring charges,” Sheriff Leon Lott said in a statement.

“The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is making an effort to determine if Mr. Phelps broke the law. If he did, he will be charged in the same manner as anyone else. The sheriff has a responsibility to be fair, to enforce the law and to not turn a blind eye because someone is a celebrity.”

There were over 800,000 arrests for simple possession in 2007 (the most recent year I could find data for). It’s stupid, but that’s the law. What makes Michael Phelps any different from any other young adult at a party…or for that matter our last three presidents? Wait, I lost my train of thought.

Oh, right. You get caught, you pay the price. One day maybe we’ll have a sensible drug policy, but not today.

On the other hand, there is such a thing as prosecutorial discretion. The University of South Carolina police and the Columbia police have announced that they have no intention of filing charges. The sheriff is something of a hard ass when it comes to drugs, though. Dangling it out there with a photograph and an apology is probably expecting too much restraint.

In the meantime, Phelps is hanging on to sponsors Visa, Speedo, Omega, and PureSport. Kellog Co., the cereal company, hasn’t decided yet.

~ by Gabriel Malor on February 3, 2009.

2 Responses to “Richland County Sheriff Looking to Charge Phelps For Pot Incident”

  1. I think that Michael Phelps should go to SC and turn himself in (full responsibility). I’m sure that Phelps will get a slap on the wrist (fine, maybe even a PSA). This teaches youth that you can’t just apologize for breaking the law and that makes it okay. And, I’m sure that it will raise his image/reputation to parents, kids, and even sponsors. Problem solved in a gentlemanly fashion, people will move on and he’ll earn fans back.

  2. Good Lord! I don’t use marijuanna, but leave the guy alone! When will you idiots realize that prohibition on this substance just doesn’t work. All that does work is to drive up the price and make the business of selling it a REALLY BIG BUSINESS. Didn’t the story of Al Capone with liquor prohibition teach anyone anything? Now our inner-cities are run by mobs fighting and killing for a share of the booty, with innocents caught in between the gunfire. The politicians, who smoked it in college, should just legalize it and tax it. Then crime will not pay anymore on this issue. In 1913, before drugs were illegal, the statistics said that 3% of Americans used drugs. Now after akmost 100 years and 100’s of billions of taxpayer $ spent, the statistics still say that 3% of Americans use drugs. give the taxpayers a break, will ya?

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