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Michael Phelps: Swimming success; ADHD; and marijuana no surprise

KW: I do not think it is a great idea to smoke marijuana. The fact that it is illegal, means that there is a shady, black market for the substance, which using marijuana will support. And, I have known people that smoked marijuana a long time, and you can tell.

Still, as  a green and a progressive, I do not think there should be a “war” on drugs and the people who use them. So, I do not believe in criminalizing marijuana. And, I truly believe that medical marijuana is useful and needed. If I had cancer, I guess I might do what I had to do reduce the pain and/or nausea, and I won’t judge anyone else for it.

So, I don’t wish to pass judgment on Olympian Michael Phelps, either way. And, unless he has a doctor’s prescription, and wants to stop competing, he should probably never smoke pot again.

But, I did want to share an observation. Educators and people in the disability community know that young people with ADHD sometimes use marijuana to self-medicate. Ironically, the last spell of astounding Michael Phelps news was that he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. So, Michale Phelps might have knowingly or unknowingly been turning to marijuana as a way to calm down his thoughts. I would hope that now that the situation has come to light, Michael Phelps and/or his doctors will consider other measures besides marijuana which might address his condition, or ease his mind.

Two stories below which I think are very connected:

(excerpt from) Edge Foundation
Michael Phelps’ ADHD is not an attention deficit (ie: the article states people with ADHD can focus)
August 15th, 2008 · 14 Comments

To much of the ADHD community, Michael Phelps’s phenomenal swimming at the Bejing Summer Olympics is a beacon of pride and hope.

(excerpt from) Newsday and the AP
Olympic committee: Phelps still a role model
11:13 AM EST, February 2, 2009

The International Olympic Committee isn’t abandoning Michael Phelps, its “icon of the games” who’s suffering through an international scandal after a British newspaper published a photo of him inhaling from a marijuana pipe.

The IOC expressed confidence Monday that Michael Phelps will learn from his “inappropriate behavior” and continue to serve as a role model…

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