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Public role models, marijuana and our children - Page 2

post #21 of 181
I am sick of the misinformation in this country regarding pot use. And yeah, I could care less who smokes pot, Michael Phelps included. It would be one thing if he were using a performance enhancing drug, but I think we all know that pot does not fall under that category. Celebrity worship in general is just so stupid to me, but that's a whole other thread.
post #22 of 181
I also generally don't consider athletes to be role models. The one thing about Phelps that I can see some people finding inspirational is that he used swimming in a positive way to deal with ADHD and overcoming some bullying he was experiencing.

I personally thing pot should be legal and don't care who smokes it. I think it's nuts that some over-zealous DA is looking into charging him with a crime.

However, for now, it's not legal. If my kids bring it up, I'll use it to discuss how sometimes our decisions have ramifications that we cannot anticipate. For example, if you have an arrest record, that arrest record can surface in the future in ways that might surprise you.
post #23 of 181
I believe that someone can be a role model even if not all of their behaviors are worthy of being modelled. I'll be teaching my kids that. Going by the Desiderata--although the quote is about comparing oneself to others--I believe that it can also be applied to learning something from everyone:
"If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself"
Each person is going to have some positive attributes that are worthy of emulation, but not all will be. I don't like in a world so black and white that I won't try to teach that to my kids. Barack Obama was a pot smoker and he still smokes cigarettes. I find many positive attributes about his character but I'm going to reject as a role model for me because I religiously and on principle decry smoking (of anything).
post #24 of 181
Thread Starter 
Barack Obama was a pot smoker and he still smokes cigarettes. I find many positive attributes about his character but I'm going to reject as a role model for me because I religiously and on principle decry smoking (of anything).

That's a great point. I am disappointed that he still smokes cigarettes, but I lost my mom to lung cancer, too. Obama is most definitely a role model, IMO.
post #25 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
The *only* reason that it bothers me how many celebrities are "out" with their mj use is that it really highlights the social-economic (racist as well) war that the "war on drugs" is AND YET PEOPLE AREN'T UP IN ARMS ABOUT IT. Michael Phelps is photographed using illegal drugs and admits it in public, with no legal repurcussions. If he were of a poor colored man he would be locked up right now :
He would have been arrested (quite publicly too I'm sure) if he had been caught with that bong and a bowlful. But having a photo of you and a bong is not enough (thank goodness!) nor would be confessing to using.

Does anyone think it was stupid on his part to allow someone to photograph him smoking out?




Wow... page 2 and nobody has posted anything anti pot. I'm kind of surprised.
post #26 of 181
How did I miss that Obama used to smoke pot? For sure he's still a role model in my eyes, in fact I think I like him a bit more now :
post #27 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelpie545 View Post
I'd rather someone smoke pot and stay home stoned than get drunk and drive. The fact that Michael Phelps took a bong hit isn't even a blip on my radar. He has no responsibility to anyone's children or to anyone to be a role model. He's just a regular guy who happens to be really good at swimming.
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I also generally don't consider athletes to be role models. The one thing about Phelps that I can see some people finding inspirational is that he used swimming in a positive way to deal with ADHD and overcoming some bullying he was experiencing.

However, for now, it's not legal. If my kids bring it up, I'll use it to discuss how sometimes our decisions have ramifications that we cannot anticipate. For example, if you have an arrest record, that arrest record can surface in the future in ways that might surprise you.

yep

i'd also like to add that, even though i choose not to use pot when i'm pregnant, nursing or responsible for child care, this is the same attitude i have about alcohol.
i don't see anything wrong with having a few drinks when my husband and i are on a date-- granted i'm not pregnant, and wont be nursing before it's out of my system!
the fact that pot is illegal is my biggest reason for staying away from it, for the reasons i quoted from the PP. i would prefer it if my LOs waited until they are adults (it'll be a while-- one is still in fetus form ) to use it, but i would be MUCH MUCH more upset if i found out they were using alcohol before they were adults.
post #28 of 181
I never really thought of him one way or another, but I don't have a problem with him smoking marijuana, and it wouldn't make me think less of him as a role model if he was someone my kids looked up to! We don't like or watch the Olympics, so I'm sure they don't even know who he is.
post #29 of 181
I didn't consider Michael to be a role model before and my feelings on that haven't changed. All I know about him is that he's an excellent swimmer due to hard work and winning the genetic lottery.

I would prefer my children to have local role models like our pastor or maybe a coach if they have a good one or a teacher if they have a good one - and of course I hope that my husband and I would be role models. I don't think celebreties make good role models because unless you really get to know them face to face, I don't think you can really know what makes them tick...kwim? To me, it isn't the actions but the motivations behind the actions. I am cynical and never really trust the motivations of celebreties when they do stuff.

I don't know enough about pot to really comment on that aspect of it...I myself enjoyed it when I was younger but am too afraid to smoke it now since most employers around here test for it.
post #30 of 181
I also don't consider Michael Phelps a role model- I agree with the other posters that said being famous does not necessarily mean you are a role model. I feel that it is my responsibility to teach my children and set examples for them, not some random athlete. Even if it was someone my child looked up to, I think it would be a great teaching moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbieB View Post
Does anyone think it was stupid on his part to allow someone to photograph him smoking out?
I would be very surprised if he knew the picture was even taken- it sounds like it was taken at a party. Everyone has a camera phone these days- it would be easy for someone to snap it without him knowing. I feel bad for him in that regard.
post #31 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarootoo View Post

i'd also like to add that, even though i choose not to use pot when i'm pregnant, nursing or responsible for child care, this is the same attitude i have about alcohol.
i don't see anything wrong with having a few drinks when my husband and i are on a date-- granted i'm not pregnant, and wont be nursing before it's out of my system!
the fact that pot is illegal is my biggest reason for staying away from it, for the reasons i quoted from the PP. i would prefer it if my LOs waited until they are adults (it'll be a while-- one is still in fetus form ) to use it, but i would be MUCH MUCH more upset if i found out they were using alcohol before they were adults.
I agree with everything you said. I see pot and alcohol as similar in that responsible vs. irresponsible use makes all the difference, and do believe alcohol is inherently more harmful and worrisome. I think there are certainly reasons to teach our kids not to smoke, aside from morally condemning it which to me is irrelevant.

So to me, the fact that Phelps smokes pot, as an adult, is not all that surprising (many adults from all walks of life obviously choose to smoke) and nor should it interfere with the message I would hope to send to my children about marijuana or with the admiration that some may have for Phelps because of his athletic achievements. Of course I think there are reasons to avoid marijuana, especially as childhood/adolescence is not the time to make those decisions about any substance use, since a still developing child should not be introducing things to their system or making decisions with potential long term consequences. And I choose to avoid it because the potential risks are not worth it given its legal and social status and my personal and family responsibilities.

But I don't think that my encouraging my kids not to use marijuana while they are growing up has anything to do with the decision another adult (famous or not) makes to do so. And if I had older kids who brought up the situation, I think it would be a good teaching tool- to explain as a pp said that no one is perfect or makes decisions we would agree with all the time, but that whether or not we agree with someone's decision does not mean we should judge them. In addition, as a pp said, the situation would make for good conversation with older children about the stigma due to the legal status, and the possible harms- which realistically are associated more with the legal and social ramifications if discovered, rather than any inherent moral or physical risk. Because clearly in this case, the problem was not caused by his use of marijuana use but by the laws and stigmas surrounding it, resulting in negative attention and scrutiny. In fact, his superior athletic abilities and his pot use seem to further the point that it is not a killer drug that will ruin your health and stamina, no? The issue was not that he smoked pot and it harmed his swimming or health- the issue was that people got overly involved in his business and judged him.
post #32 of 181
I don't believe in public role models, really. Why would I want to try and emulate someone I don't even know? So....he's a talented swimmer. Big whoop. Celebrity worship has never appealed to me.

The only thing wrong with Phelps smoking pot is that it's illegal. And the fact that it's illegal is, IMO, stupid. If they showed a picture of him drinking beer, would it be big news? FWIW, I've never smoked pot. But I don't think it should be illegal. The only reason it's illegal is because it's so easy to grow that Big Brother can't regulate it and make a profit.
post #33 of 181
My thought was, the guy just won gold medals and broke world records... at what point are you allowed to just relax and let go a little???? I don't smoke it, but my goodness - if he wants to let his hair down for a minute or two, who the heck begrudges him that? If he smoked up before teaching a preschool swim class, well, that would be a different story.

Any parent that is against marijuana use can just spin it to their advantage: "Son, when you win 8 gold medals, you can smoke some pot too. Better buckle down!"

I'm MUCH more against athletes taking performance-enhancing substances. Sportsmanship is really the only kind of modeling I expect to see from athletes. Of all the things you can say about marijuana, it does NOT give an athlete an unethical advantage.
post #34 of 181
i feel strongly against drinking, cigarettes, and drug use. but there are people in our family that do those things, as well as people across the globe that do. some members of our family have conquered addiction and are proud to live a clean life. it's a tough subject to deal with, especially because my kids are too young to understand. my daughter is sad when she sees people smoking cigarettes, she doesn't want them to get sick. and i feel when it is age appropriate we will discuss the health risks involved with other substance abuse. my husband and i try to be our children's role models and leave the entertainers in the tabloids.
post #35 of 181
I haven't read the responses, but I could care LESS if Michael Phelps smokes pot. It shouldn't affect his career or endorsements or public opinion one way or another.

As a matter of fact, I would be more surprised if a 23-year-old kid DIDN'T toke up occasionally.




OT, but I really feel for these kids these days with the prevalence of cell phones and cameras and the internet everywhere. They often simply don't have the maturity or discretion, yet their every mistake or questionable judgement is recorded forever and broadcast for all to see. I'm so glad there weren't cameras and blogs everywhere when I was in late HS/college. It's a different world.
post #36 of 181
I don't see what the big deal is. I'd like to know what percentage of Americans truly have at least tried pot. Let those without sin cast the first stone. He apologized and I doubt we'll be seeing him do it again now that he is such a big star/influence.

I know kids look up to him, but they can look up to him for his talent and dedication to his sport and the commitment he has. Why does he have to be perfect?

Often the media dramatizes things to sell their story and I also think the lack of privacy these days due to technology can really suck.
post #37 of 181
im embarrassed that my wonderful state is actually seriously thinking of filing criminal charges against him for it.

i think it's beyond minor. pot should be legal. it is in other countries, it likely will be here before too long (well, maybe not SC, oy...) i'd be more concerned (for him) if he had been filmed binge drinking. alcohol is a far worse thing for people than a little weed.

he is a SWIMMER not a ROLE MODEL. he swims well. that's it. him being in the public eye makes him a celebrity. celebrity is one thing, role model is quite another.

i get the vibe that the media wants this to be a huge deal, but most people don't care. including me.
post #38 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsky View Post
Any parent that is against marijuana use can just spin it to their advantage: "Son, when you win 8 gold medals, you can smoke some pot too. Better buckle down!"


: LMFAO.

I am TOTALLY going to use this line sometime in my parenting career.
post #39 of 181
Yes, I think all famous people are role models whether they like it or not, and yes, I think it was poor judgement that he smoked pot, and I'm glad that it was published. Maybe he'll think twice about his decision making in public from now on, and maybe parents will use it as an opportunity to bring up smoking, pot smoking, drinking, etc. with their kids.

To be clear, I would be just as turned off by the guy were it cigarettes. I think its irresposible behavior for anyone, but particularly a young public sports figure, specifically an athlete who is supposed to be caring for his body. And drinking & driving...? That, over anything else, drops him REALLY low on my list. That's reprehensible.
post #40 of 181
I personally don't consider anyone to be a role model and IMHO neither should other people. Putting anyone up on a pedestal and expecting perfection is exactly what is wrong with our society. We expect models to be skinny and beautiful but then we criticize them for teaching our children to be obsessed with weight. We expect sports people to win all the time under any circumstances but to be perfect angels in everything else too. I can go on but the point is, stop setting expectations that no one could possibly achieve.

We're human, we make mistakes, we learn as we go...
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