Michael Phelps looking at charges for bong photo

February 4th, 2009 // 150 Comments

After a photo of him smoking a bong was published in News of the World, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has since apologized for his actions at a November party at University of South Carolina. He’s also sparked a nationwide debate on the legality of marijuana except in Columbia, S.C. where Sheriff Leon Lott Jr. is looking to make a bust for them fancy newspaper pages. People reports:

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

Not that I’m suggesting a celebrity deserves special treatment, but it’s also a responsibility of the Sheriff to prosecute murderers, rapists, pedophiles and domestic abusers. But apparently Richland County has none of those. Who knew?

Photos: Getty

  1. Mike Hawk

    All that for a 200 dollar fine. Whats possesion of a bong toke nowadays? 3 minutes behind bars? What a fucking waste of resources.

  2. Anus is for Feces Vagina is for Boys

    I prefer the sexual orifice not the excretory port. Sorry I am not that much into having human waste on my penis. I don’t do drugs cuz I don’t need to. I have a wife who gives me all I want. Sorry I am not so “hip” and swinging and kinky.

    You liberals sure are an aberrant sort.

  3. cavy

    This is why I would never want to be a celebrity in this day and age – technology is way out of hand! Hell, I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again either…everyone is whoring it up on Myspace and Facebook and you can’t even take a shit without some asshole taking a picture to put up on their boring Blog!

    Leave Phleps alone. Athletes are entertainers and no one should ever have to live up to the status of “Role Model”…especially to the dumbass public. Hey, if you need a “Role Model” so bad, you must have something very wrong in yourself. Nobody is perfect and no one is innocent. Grow a pair and take care of your own actions and parent your own children; don’t leave parenting to a celebrity (because, really, they’re strangers and YOU are responsible!) – “Parent” is a VERB!

  4. Your Mom

    Stop making excuses for this guy. He’s a grown azz man. It’s starting to look like his M.O. Remember the D.U.I ? I love it when white guys do something and people make excuses like, “He’s just expressing himself”. If he was black he would have loss off his endosements. F*ck Michael Phelps !

  5. Your Mom

    Stop making excuses for this guy. He’s a grown azz man. It’s starting to look like his M.O. Remember the D.U.I ? I love it when white guys do something and people make excuses like, “He’s just expressing himself”. If he was black he would have loss off his endosements. F*ck Michael Phelps !

  6. Deacon Jones

    Get a life. You haven’t lived if you never got stoned and fucked a hot chick up her ass (that enjoyed it). Go back to your trailer and your fat ass wife.


    As for you, don’t even get me started.
    The main difference in your argument is that “white guy” celebs get caught driving drunk, smoking pot, banging married sluts, etc.

    Black guy celebs get caught murdering, punching women, weapons charges, etc

  7. NastyBedazzler

    I personally believe Michael Phelps is a douche but this is ridiculous.
    I hope that this sheriff doesn’t spend a dime trying to deduce whether or not it’s pot in that bong, it’s completely worthless.

    Who’s the victim here? Uh nobody, so let it go.

  8. Your Mom

    Dick-on, I mean Deacon Jones. I guess they’re trying to be line the Baretta’s, Jim Lamply’s, and Phil Spectors huh. If it ain’t white , it ain’t right !

  9. fudgeconservatives

    I don’t know why I’m posting here, it’s usefullness is comparable to fucking for virginity. However, as a rabid anti-prohibitionist, I have to say, thank god the majority on here understands how a democracy works, the point that laws change over time and that wasting tax dollars and resources, especially in this time of economic crisis, is not needed for soemthing as benign as smoking pot. Yes, pot is illegal by federal standards, but that doesn’t mean that society as a whole accepts it. As the winds of change move forward, we will see the will of the people triumph and ignorant laws slowly disperse. Don’t concern yourself with the uninformed rantings of the conservative masses. They regard our feelings and visions as nothing more than “Liberals trying to tell us how to live…” while…well…telling us how to live. Personally, I’m not telling them to like weed, I’m just asking them to keep their choices seperate from mine. If they want to hate on it, if they want to protect their children from it(which, btw, only pushes them closer to it), that’s their business. Making something legal does not mean you have to support it. I don’t drink nor do I want my children to drink. However, I’m not about to use the laws to enact my own personal feelings about a substance. If it presented a major risk to society (like booze does), then I could understand. However, if I’m on the road, I will ALWAYS prefer to have a stoner on the road with me than someone who drinks. ANyone who knows the truth about how each substance affects you knows this to be 100% true. Their arguments never hold water when presented with valid counter-arguments. Booze is legal, it’s more dangerous on ALL accounts than weed, it’s fatal if taken in large quantities and easily causes more deaths each year than weed. However, we are talking about hard core conservatives here, people who shy from any form of rationality or open, intelligent debate.

  10. I think this is RIDICULOUS! Give the guy a break! And INVESTIGATING? I sure as HELL doubt someone is gonna be like: ‘I brought the weed to the party! It was me!’ Or else lay all the blame on Phelps…

    God – I hope this is a vestige of the Bush Administration!
    Not – what Obama & his administration’s influence will be like!

  11. Mike

    Keep hoping Sebastian. Change be a coming.

  12. bong, guilty, not guilty, whatever. he’s still an ugly cromag fuck

  13. Deacon Jones


    You said it!

  14. Anus is for Feces Vagina is for Boys

    My wife is not fat and I don’t live in a trailer and I hold that sodomy is repulsive. The anus function is for passing shit out you fag. Seriously, why would anyone want to place their penis in shit? Is that natural? What about fecal dolls? Is it ok make little dolls out of shit and maybe make a little play house and dress little turds up and put makeup on them and act out little fantasies or maybe perform Macbeth or do the Butterfly Opera out of little Doo Dolls?

    Hell I guess maybe you might be right (shits in own pants and reaches a few thick fingers up asshole and digs around for several long and enchanted moments with quizacal expression producing mild erection).

  15. It’s the typical American WAR ON DRUGS bullshit. Dump trillions into arresting citizens and waging war in third world countries because people want to get high. Bravo America. Oh ya and here is another gem for you “just say no.” Thanks Nancy, don’t look at the social issues surrounding drug use or anything just say no. That’s what happens when you let housewives dictate policy.

  16. lola

    Pot is good for you. Smoking it isn’t. My Native American heritage confirms this. Legalize pot and create American jobs: growing, selling, etc.

  17. bust it

    everyone’s just in a tizzy because it’s obvious proof that bong hits give you super hydro-abilities…and a craving for taquitos covered in nacho cheese.

    big deal.

  18. cookiepuss

    umm his face hurts my eyes

  19. Ryan

    Who gives a damn if he smokes marijuana. It’s not that bad of a thing. I smoke marijuana all the time.

  20. Stoner Since 98


    I agree. I have seen people get drunk and start fights but I have never seen a stoned person want to fight because they are too mellow. My best friend is a total bitch when she drinks and gets drunk but a sweetheart when she is stoned.

  21. britney's weave

    don’t we have bigger problems?

  22. britney's weave

    … like how fat jessica simpson has gotten.

  23. Happy Hiker

    They can’t prove anything ~ or charge him with anything. No way will anything happen

  24. annie

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  25. Man

    AAAARRRGHHH! so stupid!!! effing legalize it!
    @66: you’re so right!!!! everything illegal shouldn’t be criminalized. gay marriage isn’t legal everywhere, but is it a crime!? NOOOO!

  26. Legalize It Don't Despise It

    I wonder what kind of pot it was? Was it purple hair or skunk bud or? I am going to take 2 bong hits in honor of the greatest stoner Olympic champion of the world when I get home from work.

  27. Joe

    Hes a real looker huh

  28. HolyCrapCakesBatman

    “The Sheriff has a responsibility to be fair, to enforce the law and to not turn a blind eye because someone is a celebrity.” ……

    Are you kidding me. OMFG, how dumb do you have to be to release a statement like that? Do people actually buy this shit?… Dude, that’s why America SUCKS. You guys think you’re free but you’re not.

    I smoke weed all the time. Hell, if someone can get ahold of Joe 24 Pack, the Sherrif’s email address, I’d be happy to send him several pictures of myself smoking pot.. Haha, now wouldn’t that be funny?

    The only thing Mike Phelps is guilty of is being a sell-out.


  29. MichaelPhelps#1Fan

    thought you guys might like to see this sketch about Michael Phelps and the marijuana scandal, it’s really funny


  30. Please nail this MENTAL sucker, folks!!

  31. yoshi99

    Prosecute the guy for using pot? Good luck with that. Most states don’t criminalize use — only possession — because they’re more worried about catching the dealers versus the casual users. Go ahead, Mr. Sheriff … flush your job away.

  32. F Mee Bailey

    The photo and apology are admissible. Get one party-goer, or the host, in exchange for immunity, to say he or she saw Phelps smoking pot, and the DA has enough to get to trial. On that basis alone, Phelps will plead guilty to some minor offense in exchange for a fine and slap on the wrist. I’m not saying pot should or shouldn’t be legal, but it isn’t now in SC.

  33. Sparky Malarky

    He’s going to have to be put to death. I recommend the electric chair.

  34. Well Hung

    I would prefer he hang.

  35. Chelle

    1. The sheriff is a goof – how in the world can all this possibly be proved when it happened in November?

    2. Michael Phelps is:

    A. An idiot who has no sense of self-preservation. Why would an international celebrity go to a party and committ an illegal act when everyone and their grandma has a mobile phone with a camera these days, and;

    B. A loser for smoking pot. L – O – S – E – R

  36. TAMARA

    Technically Michael can’t be charged with any drug violations. Cleary there is no lighter in his hand, no smoke in the bong NOR is there even a bowl presented in the picture…this guy can easily brush this off his shoulders.

  37. Dude!

    there are VIDEOS of lindsay lohan doing coke. if she didnt get in trouble, phelps will be fine.

  38. TheTruth

    This is an opportunity for the new US administration to consume billions in new taxes. Legalize it and pot can be the savior of our nation, instantly creating jobs in manufacturing and distribution on a scale not even big tobacco could imagine.

  39. Murf

    Actually 141 it would be legalized in the way regular tobacco is – if ever. And big tobacco would retool so fast it’d make your head spin. They’d be in control again and you’d still have to pay tripple what the bag cost you on the street last saturday.

  40. raceman94

    Here’s what kills me: there are loads of celebrities and people that do things that a FAR worse than this, and they want to arrest him. Dang it! Focus on the pedophiles and rapists!

  41. djcorbijn

    This entire thing is total bullshit. So what if Phelps hit a bong. If you have grown up in the USA and you haven’t been to a party, drank alcohol and/or smoked some weed when it was offered then what is wrong with you? There are more people in this country, celebrity or not that have taken a hit than people who haven’t. When you go to school parties, there is going to be alcohol and weed, it’s a given. I’ve DJ’d parties at BYU and it’s no different. Now Phelps can join the ranks of Magic Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Phelps is a celebrity but that does not mean he needs to shit gold and be a perfect captain america.

    I really feel sorry for Phelps. This almost sounds like a set-up. “Dude, Phelps is at the party! Let’s get a photo of him taking a hit so we can sell it to a British Tabloid. We can make money to buy more weeeeeed!” The person I want to see is the piece of shit who took the photo (and probably owned the bong) and sold it to the media. I want to know how much money this piece of shit was given for the photo. That probably could be some form of entrapment. If Phelps gets any kind of charge, the other person should be charged too including distribution, defamation, etc. Seize the frat house for the pot and charge the school too that let them throw the party.

    Now Phelps is also going to have to “apologize” to a society of hypocrites. The people who are trying to nail him to a cross should be ashamed. Are they squeaky clean? People like “pill-poppin” Rush Limbaugh. I wonder if the IOC is going to do something? Those goons are complete crooks who take bribes and have the arrogance to say so what. How many of the people who are making Phelps apologize have a bottle of Zanex or Loratab’s on the side? I would say those without sin can cast the first stone however smoking weed is not a sin. The biggest sin of all is lying and Phelps has taken accountability.

    As for Kellogg’s? Read up on the Battle Creek Sanitarium and John Harvey Kellogg. That dude was roastin’ bowls and giving enemas to anyone and everyone he could all in the name of good health. Probably did more cocaine than Freud.

  42. B

    Dear SC,

    WTF? My mom cheerleaded at your university for 3 years. She smoked incredulously during this time. You wanna charge her too? Weed isn’t a crrime. If it hurts anyone it’s the user. Fuck all you haters.

  43. Jill

    so are they going to track down who’s bong it is? or is this sheriff just trying to get his 15 minutes…hmm difficult one haha

  44. Ken

    What the sheriff fails to realize is that you cannot arrest someone for this after the fact. Since he wasn’t there, he can’t prove (or disprove) what Phelps was doing. Then again, South Carolina isn’t known for it’s educational system.

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  47. I have Seen people drunk and starting fights, but I have never seen a stoned person wants to fight, because they are too soft.

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