Not sure if you’ve heard or not, but some fellow named Michael Phelps, the man of eight gold medals in the most recent Summer Olympics, had his picture taken while smoking pot at a party in South Carolina and the media are making a big deal about it.
…Like he’s the first 23-year old guy to hit a bong. And can we just call it a bong instead of a “marijuana pipe?” It’s a bong.
Anyway, Phelps has since apologized and his endorsement deals are all in place and nobody has taken his bagillion gold medals away. Everything is fine (save that three-month suspension by USA swimming).
What’s not fine is the full blown pot scandal unfolding in Japan.
In the past six months four sumo wrestlers have been tossed out of the sport for a marijuana-related offenses, the most recent of which a 25-year old Japanese wrestler (the others were Russians) who got busted for possession.
It’s not just a drug problem, either, at least not in the eyes of many Japanese. Sumo is so intertwined with culture and religion that its association with drugs is viewed as some type of societal black eye.
In short, it’s a messy situation.
Perhaps Japanese society, as reflected through sumo, is crumbling? Eh, probably not. It’s probably just young guys smoking weed, just like Phelps, except he probably didn’t plow through a bowl of noodles afterward.