Reefer Madness: Trayvon Martin Director's Cut

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 17 2012 7:41 PM

Reefer Madness: Trayvon Martin Director's Cut

The discovery phase of the Zimmerman-Martin investigation is underway. It's fantastic -- it's what protesters spent a month clamoring for. I haven't returned to Sanford since the special prosecutor announced that Zimmerman would be indicted, but from all appearances, the trial has calmed things down. The documents released so far are here.

Now, though: About this headline.

Trayvon Martin Had Drugs in System, Autopsy Found

What the report actually says -- as ABC points out -- is that there was THC in Martin's system on the night he died. Why's this our lede? Two months ago, we knew that Martin had been suspended from school after an empty "marijuana baggie" was found. So we have more evidence: He smoked pot, or was close to pot being smoked,* at some point before the killing. We don't even know that he was high that night, when he was staying with his dad's girlfriend and going out for snacks at 7-11. Anyone who's had to take a drug test knows that THC sticks around. This is just a cheap spin on the story.

Much less cheap: the iPhone photos now being released of a bloodied George Zimmerman, taken by cops on the night of the shooting. (Follow @JeffWeinerOS on Twitter to see them.) The story Zimmerman wanted told is getting out. It would have gotten out so much sooner if an arrest had just been made at the start of this.

*Weasel words, sure, but it's possible for THC to show up on a test if you're around smokers, breathing it in.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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