High Times

Where Has the Weed Taboo Gone?

Michael Phelps holds records both in and outside the pool. After getting caught red-handed hitting a bong last winter, the Olympic titan downplayed the scandal at lightning speed, according to a column in the Los Angeles Times. Phelps’s slew of ongoing endorsement deals, including one with Subway laden with stoner references visible to the discerning eye, are more pieces of evidence proving that maybe, just maybe, the United States has an increasingly open mind when it comes to marijuana use. Phelps was suspended from swimming for three months after word got out about his drug use and Wheaties revoked their $500,000 contract, but compared to sentences endured by other sports stars for similar missteps, he got off surprisingly easy. “The consequences to Phelps—actually, the lack of consequences—suggest that something bigger than mere endorsement dollars is in play,” wrote columnist Dan Neil. “It seems Phelps has moved the weed needle.”