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The Vox Box

Michael Phelps releases apology for “bong” photograph

Full story here.                                                                                                   

As some of you may know, swimming monolith Michael Phelps was very recently caught in the act of marijuana use while in attendance at a party.  Apparently, someone took a snapshot of him while he was proceeding with the inhalation of cannabis smoke from a vertically-designed water pipe, or, in the words of Cypress Hill, "taking hits from the bong".  He was said to be very aware of how to use the device, leading to speculation that he has previously used marijuana on several occasions.

Phelps, who holds the well-known title of world-record Olympian in regard to number of gold medals, has been seen partying all around, whether in this instance or in his escapades with Playboy bunnies at Hugh Hefner's infamous mansion.  As a result, many sponsors are threatening to drop him, while many fans are becoming ex-fans in disgust.  Still, many support him, apathetic to his personal, victimless lifestyle choices as long as his swimming abilities remain consistently baffling.

Marijuana is not a performance-enhancing or addictive drug, but it is a frightening and disliked substance in traditionalist American culture, much like sexual promiscuity is not illegal but is frowned upon in role models such as Phelps.  Do these aspects of Phelps' lifestyle and personality have the power to dampen his achievements?  Are those who say he should be allowed to do what he wants correct, or should he dedicate more effort towards fitting a specific clean-cut image for the kids?  

In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at