Visa Joins List of Phelps' Sponsors Staying With Him

Visa has joined Speedo, luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega and sports and Human Performance Labs in saying it will not drop Michael Phelps because he smoked marijuana.

"We have spoken with Michael, and he has expressed regret for the situation, has committed to being accountable and improving his judgment in the future," Visa said. "We intend to support him as he looks to move forward."

Still undecided: Kellogg Cereal. As to why it's not viewed as a big deal with sponsors, perhaps as Olympic historian Bill Mallon says:

It's marijuana. Our president smoked it. Clinton smoked it. It's not the worst drug in the world by any means."

As BTD noted earlier, South Carolina says its examining whether to file criminal charges. For what? What a waste of resources.

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    Medical Marijuana raids continue under Holder (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:20:03 PM EST
    DEA Raids Westside Marijuana Dispensaries

    A Los Angeles police spokesperson said the department, which is normally notified of such operations, got no advance warning from DEA...

    Asked about Obama's comments that he did not want to waste Justice Department resources on raiding medical marijuana shops, Pullen said that "marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

    "Change," or rogue narcs?

    Americans for Safe Access (ASA) has called an emergency protest at the LA Federal Building, noon Wednesday.

    they continued during Obama's inauguration (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:46:43 PM EST
    as I wrote here last week. Holder wasn't Attorney General then and he hasn't been on the job long enough to effect any policy changes.

    The DEA makes busts, they don't prosecute. The test will be whether DOJ prosecutes these cases. If they don't prosecute, DEA will give them up.the raids, sooner. If new cases are filed with Holder as AG, then it's an  empty promise from Obama and an "I told you so" from me. Here's what Obama told an Oregon newspaper during the primaries:

    I would not punish doctors if it's prescribed in a way that is appropriate. That may require some changes in federal law. I will tell you that...the likelihood of that being real high on my list is not likely. What I'm not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism. We've got a lot of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with."

    What we need is for the bills that get introduced every year in Congress but go nowhere to get passed this year -- they would prevent prosecutions of medical marijuana patients and doctors in states where it has been legalized. Here's Barney Frank's 2008 bill which would legalize small amounts of pot for everyone.


    ROgue Narcs (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:28:24 PM EST
    They should go to jail. Reminds me of the freicorps.

    We'll see tomorrow (none / 0) (#6)
    by eric on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:29:59 PM EST
    what happens.  It is clear that Obama wouldn't call for this, and Holder certainly wouldn't defy that, so my guess is that we have some overzealous DEA cops that will soon be looking for employment.

    I hope it was worth it to them.


    Update (via IM) (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:33:33 PM EST
    5 dispensaries and a doctors office. No word on whether patient records were seized from the doc.

    Thanks for the update, Ben (none / 0) (#14)
    by NJDem on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 06:28:10 AM EST
    and keep up the good work!

    It's one thing to be disappointed by some of the new administrations actions, but this really p*sses me off! Un-be-lievable...


    Waste of resources? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by dws3665 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:33:58 PM EST
    Have you been paying attention? It's what we do here in South Carolina.

    Our governor has SLASHED the budget for health care and education (literally, the university where I work has lost millions of dollars of its state funding so far this year, with more cuts reportedly coming) and he a) refuses to impose a cigarette tax (ours is the lowest in the nation) to help fund health care cuts, and b) threatens to refuse any federal stimulus funds that might be coming.

    But at least none of us gay-bobs can get married here!

    and i meant to finish with... (none / 0) (#9)
    by dws3665 on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:35:43 PM EST
    and we have the money to try to prosecute Michael Phelps for a single bong hit.

    Priorities, people.



    Man (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 10:58:14 AM EST
    Thanks for reminding me why I live in a blue state...

    That's aweful - I can't believe they would refuse federal funds.


    Leagalize it and tax it (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ding7777 on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 04:00:48 AM EST
    to fund the expanded children's health insurance program

    Some wisenheimer noted (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 09:56:04 PM EST
    on one of the sports blogs that Phelps was wearing an Omega watch while being photographed.

    Whether the Omega people consider that a marketing plus or not has not been determined.  But, the reaction of the sponsors in not dumping him is laudable.  Even perhaps a sign of a little maturity emerging.

    Imagine if sponsors dumped their spokespeople for getting a couple drinks too many in their systems.

    As a society, we need to grow up - and that would include legalizing drugs.

    BFD, marijuana (none / 0) (#2)
    by BrassTacks on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:04:55 PM EST
    I can't believe that anyone cares.  

    Lol (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Tue Feb 03, 2009 at 10:06:14 PM EST
    None of these corporations want to turn off people who may have smoked weed. It would be unpatriotic.

    And bad business... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 08:18:08 AM EST
    we are a sizeable demographic millions strong.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#18)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 10:46:35 AM EST
    That's what I meant by unpatriotic, bad for business...

    Not that... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 10:49:25 AM EST
    we can swipe the plastic to buy what we want though...cash or trade only:)

    lol (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 10:52:14 AM EST
    Soon VIsa et al will be cashing in as well as local and federal tax authorities. It is too lucrative a product to hold back, imo.

    Battle of wills... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 10:59:54 AM EST
    the lucrative prison and law enforcement apparatus will have something to say about that...it would be an epic battle of lobbyists and connections.  Too bad liberty can't get seated at the negotiating table.

    Yes (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 11:07:35 AM EST
    Maybe that sector of the labor force can go into farming and if they really miss the having such authority pig farming, although I fear for the pigs.

    ummmmmmmmmmmm............... (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 12:43:39 AM EST
    For what?

    because they are not the brightest bulbs in the box down there. bear in mind, this is the state that started an unwinnable war, in april, 1861. they've not learned anything since.

    the people of SC are nice enough, just living on another planet, where it's still 1858.

    So stupid. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Thanin on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 03:32:44 AM EST

    I think legalizing marijuana alone, (none / 0) (#16)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 08:53:09 AM EST
    with appropriate restrictions on places of use, would be just fine. I think it would show just as good sense NOT to legalize certain other drugs, such as PCP and meth, for example.
    By the way, I read that the adorable American diving champion does not have any endorsements. He hasn't even done anything illegal; he's just gay.

    The lure of the almighty $ (none / 0) (#17)
    by dutchfox on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 09:03:56 AM EST
    Dennis Perrin: Forgive And Cash In
    "I hope to put this tragic, criminal lapse of judgment behind me. I look forward to a clean and sober relationship with Omega watchmakers, Speedo, Human Performance Labs, and the Hilton Hotels Corporation. And I promise never to have sex with Paris Hilton when there are cameras or cell phones in the room. Thank you, and God Bless America."

    Frosted Flakes Is Out (none / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 11:16:56 PM EST
    Kellogg, the food company, said Thursday that it would not renew its contract with Phelps when their deal expires at the end of February. It would not disclose the value of its contract.

    Later Thursday, USA Swimming suspended Phelps for three months.

    "Michael's most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg," Susanne Norwitz, a spokeswoman for the company, said in a statement.

    What a coincidence!

    WSJ Say's Jail Phelps (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 05:39:33 PM EST
    Well sort of, and I have to say it is one of the first times I actually agree with the WSJ, mostly.

    Imagine if all the prominent people who have ever been exposed for drug use argued for their decriminalization? There would be mayhem -- a lot of people might take drugs and no one would arrest them!


    In 2007 alone, nearly 800,000 Americans were arrested for simple possession of marijuana, according to FBI statistics.


    But, you're probably thinking, very few presidents, Olympic champions and college students are arrested for drug use. My daughter attends a prominent private university in the city, and she tells me many of her peers smoke pot. Yet neither she nor I had ever heard of a single arrest for this crime on campus.

    Who are all of these people getting arrested? And what the heck's the matter with them? Don't they know how to get pot delivered 24/7 to their dorm via carriers from whom you order by cellphone?

    Well, here's a hint: 83% of those arrested in New York City in the last decade were African-American or Latino. This occurred even though these groups, while underrepresented among college students, don't actually comprise the majority of drug users.

    Stanton Peele WSJ

    Phelps (none / 0) (#26)
    by resilient2 on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 12:01:47 PM EST
      Marijuana was criminalized in the late 30's for a few really stupid reasons. 1. The attempt to discourage mexicans from entering the country, as it was thought it was their drug of choice;failure. 2. It was stated "it causes uncontrollable violence" False. 3. "it causes black men to look white women in the eye". Racial lie. 4. It was a "gateway drug" and led soon to heroin and Cocaine. Lie. It has been legal in California for 13 years and the "dangers" it would cause have never materialized.  We spend 60 billion a year on the "war on drugs" and drugs are cheaper and more pure. The truth.  The Pharmeceutical industry frowns on anyone hurting their monopoly. 2.The Declaration of Independance was written on hemp paper.3. It's the #1 cash crop in many states.4.All unelected governmental bodies endorse it. Elected politicians, however, must demonize it or be accused of being "soft on crime" The prison industry, in the "land of the free" keep building for-profit prisons and need ways to fill them. Solution? create more criminals.  What a horrible waste.