WAITING TO EXHALE: Sheriff Declines To Prosecute Michael Phelps For Violating Stupid Pot Laws


[Illustration by ALEX FINE]

BLOOMBERG NEWS: Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008, won’t be prosecuted in connection with his admission that he smoked from a bong at a South Carolina college party in November. The Richland County, South Carolina, sheriff’s department announced the decision at a news conference. Sheriff Leon Lott said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Phelps. “We had a photo and him saying he was sorry for inappropriate behavior,” Lott said during a televised press conference. “He never said, ‘I smoked marijuana.’ We didn’t have physical evidence.” Lott said he hoped children would learn that no matter who you are, you can’t break the law. “Michael Phelps is truly an American hero,” Lott said. “But even with his star status, he is obligated to obey the laws of our state.” MORE

PREVIOUSLY: Eight people connected to a South Carolina party where Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was allegedly photographed smoking pot from a bong have been arrested, WIS-TV reported. Officers from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department arrested seven of the suspects for possession of marijuana and the eighth for dealing, according to the station. One arrest included the suspected owner of the bong — who wasn’t even at the party, but was allegedly trying to sell the pipe on eBay for $100,000, WIS reported. The record-breaking Olympic gold medalist has not been charged in the case. But he has lost an endorsement contract with Kellogg’s and was suspended by USA Swimming for three months. MORE

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