Is marijuana to blame for Trayvon Martin shooting? (hint: no, it is not)


Trayvon Martin, from Wikipedia.

Marijuana use has been needlessly dragged into one of the messiest murder trial battles in this country, with the defense in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman murder trial pushing to introduce Martin’s trace amounts of THC in his system into evidence to show that the Florida neighborhood watch was justified in shooting the unarmed teenager.

For those that don’t know, the case centers around Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch for a gated community in Sanford, Florida, and Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black teen visiting his soon-to-be mother-in-law in the neighborhood with his father. On February 26 of last year, Zimmerman was on patrol and spotted Marting walking around. Zimmerman claimed that Martin looked suspicious and “up to no good” and stopped the teen. The ensuing confrontation ended with Zimmerman bloodied and Martin shot through the heart at close range. Zimmerman has claimed self defense.
Look, the case is a sad one but let’s all be very adult and honest about this: marijuana had absolutely nothing to do with this situation and this is just a way for the defense to paint Martin as a black marijuana-smoking hoodlum.
Literally, that’s what they are trying to do. Zimmerman reported in his now-infamous 911 call that he thought martin was “on drugs” at the time of the incident and there’s little doubt that the defense will use the positive THC test to frame Martin as unstable and on drugs.
Yes, they want to blame violence on cannabis and shift the attention away from the real issues in this case: alleged racial profiling and whether the violent taking of a human life by another human was indeed justified in this case.
What they’ll likely find is that he had trace amounts of residual, inactive THC in his system since the Florida coroner couldn’t have tested for active THC at the time of Martin’s killing. That means that they are basing their assumptions on THC he had in his system from anywhere from a few weeks before the incident to a few minutes before the incident and there’s no way to tell when that was.
A medical examiner in the case originally told the court, minus jurors, that the THC level was so low that it couldn’t have affected Martin. He has since slightly altered his position, now saying that it was a very trace amount but that he wasn’t sure of how much of an effect it had.
The reality is that, statistically speaking, 28-year-old Zimmerman could have just as easily had cannabis in his system considering as many as 1.5 million Floridians age 26 or older smoke cannabis every year (not to mention untold millions across the country who don’t go crazy from smoking cannabis either).
It’s a bullshit move that seems like a desperate attempt to use fear and ignorance over a plant to justify murder and we hope the jurors see it that way, too.