Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Florida jurors heard that Trayvon Martin was aggressive and paranoid due to marijuana intoxication the night he was murdered. But was he?
Carl Hart, a neuropsychopharmacologist who spent fifteen years studying the neurophysiological, psychological and behavioral effects of marijuana, finds this line of reasoning "laughable" in The New York Times.
"The toxicology exam, which was conducted the morning after Mr. Martin was killed, found a mere 1.5 nanograms per milliliter of blood of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in his body. This strongly suggests he had not ingested marijuana for at least 24 hours. This is also far below the THC levels that I have found necessary, in my experimental research on dozens of subjects, to induce intoxication: between 40 and 400 nanograms per milliliter. In fact, his THC levels were significantly lower than the sober, baseline levels of about 14 nanograms per milliliter of many of my patients, who are daily users. Mr. Martin could not have been intoxicated with marijuana at the time of the shooting; the amount of THC found in his system was too low for it to have had any meaningful effect on him."
"Based on my own work, during which I have administered thousands of doses of marijuana, I can say that its main effects are contentment, relaxation, sedation, euphoria and increased hunger, all peaking within 5 to 10 minutes after smoking and lasting for about two hours."
George Zimmerman was acquitted by a six-woman Florida jury Saturday.