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Discussion Surrounding Relevance of Marijuana Use by Trayvon Martin Intensifies

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This discussion originally took place on https://www.facebook.com/johnpatrickcontini.

Original Post 7/9/13

Contini – ‎#ZimmermanJudge rules that the ‎#marijuana which was found in ‎#TrayvonMartin“toxicology” (i.e., in his blood that night, according to the Medical Examiner) now comes into ‎#evidence given the ‎#relevance … and it’s purportedly “relevant,” insofar as ‎#Zimmerman had told the police/dispatcher that ‎#TravonMartin appeared to be on ‎#drugs http://www.JohnContini/ [your thoughts re: the “relevancy” of the marijuana use?

Comments:

O.F.-  I’m not a marijuana smoker but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t effect anyone to act in a violent manner.

P.F.- Do you think there will be riots? Sheriff Israel has a video asking for civility – what’s your thoughts ?
O.G.- If Zimmerman would have stayed in his truck & obeyed the 911 dispatcher the chain of events leading to the young boy’s death would have been avoided. Trayvon’s past, skipping school, pot smoking would never have become a topic of discussion. Zimmerman was reckless & defective in his judgment!
Contini Osha, I think you’re right, the marijuana has a reputation for causing a person to “chill” (and it’s my understanding that it was a trace or small amount in Trayvon’s system) unlike cocaine and other narcotics which have the reputation of “amping” people up. The prosecution should argue that marijuana stays in the person’s system for approximately thirty (30) days, making it likely that he smoked days or weeks before and not necessarily that day. Thanks for contributing and writing, Osha. [I like what you wrote on your site about calling on God too!:)]

D.M.- This has been a pretty rough trial. The jury should be permitted to weigh the signficance of the marijuana by the victim, particularly if this fact supports a defense theory. If anything, having the mother and father testify to confirm their son’s voice was both cumulative and far more potentially prejudicial.

L.M.- Zimmerman acted recklessly probably out of either anger or a big ego. He should have just stayed put. I hope he doesn’t get off and pays for his stupidity

R.T.- It shows that TM was no Sunday morning choir boy, that he’s willing to break laws of Florida more than anything goes to his character

B.T.- I agree with Oscar. I also believe, but could be mistaken, that if the person who caused the death under the stand your ground law, cannot use this as a defense if they were the aggressor or was breaking the law at the time of the incident. George was the aggressor by stalking this kid under the assumption Trayvon was a hoodlum. As far as the pot, I would hope an expert witness would be called to dispute any allegations that smoking pot creates aggression.

L.M.- I agree Osha that marijuana use usually melted a person not make them violent. He may not have been a choir boy but he was not breaking the law. Zimmerman is the one with issues it seems.

B.T.- Zimmerman was a wannabe cop, and its apparent he wouldn’t have been a good one.

Contini – Peter, I pray there are NO riots, as this will show that the black community (which is the community of folks to whom many people ascribe this proclivity to “riot”) respects the rule of law. To riot over a verdict that is perceived to be unfair, is to debase oneself, and stoop beneath those higher levels of maturity and emotional sobriety, decency, civility and respect achieved by this very same community. Does anyone ask if the “white community” will “riot” if the verdict goes against Zimmerman? Nobody asks this ridiculous question, and that is because you expect civility from white citizens — so why can’t we expect this same civility from the black community — from every community” of every race. We do, actually, and naturally, we should expect this of ALL people, regardless of race; and if anyone of any race acts outsider the law in the wake of the verdict. They should be summarily arrested and prosecuted

F.L.- case should never have come to trial. if riots occur, shame on the black community; we cannot have rule of law and fear of riots from verdicts at the same time.

S.H.-  Appeared to be on drugs? How would he know. This is at night time? Did he see his eyes or something that close in the dark? Maybe if he could smell it … but appeared to be on drugs. I dont buy that at all.

B.P.-  I think they said that Trayvon had about a concentration of 9 ng/ml ( nanograms per ml ). There was no way he was high on marijuana when he was murdered at that level. The bottom detection level is around 15 ng/ml and a heavy user can have 800 ng/ml in their blood. That idiot Zimmerman said that Trayvon was “high” and the defense is using this as a justification that perhaps he (Trayvon) had his judgement impaired thus he made a “bad” decision and attacked poor innocent law abiding Zimmerman. It is just a way to smear Trayvons’ character. 

Source: http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=48772

From the article: Almost all commercial drug tests use a competition based immunoassay that employs antibodies to TCH-COOH as the detection mechanism. The primary cutoff established and recommended by the government has been 50 ng/ml for these tests. If a positive is confirmed in these tests there is usually a confirmation test using GC/MS (Gas chromotagraphy, Mass Spectrometry) which typically have cutoffs of 15 ng/ml. These two tests together are the gold standard for detection. 

Also from the article: In one profile of a very heavy user who was tested on a daily basis over 110 days showed a high level of variability in the resulting level in the urine. That user started out at 800 ng/ml and he first passed the 50 ng/ml cutoff at Day 41. At Day 51 that same user was back up to 100 ng/ml but then was consistently lower than 50 ng/ml from day 55 until Day 110 when no more metabolites could be detected.

Contini– The prosecution should argue that marijuana stays in one’s system for approximately 30 days — and all prosecutors know this, so there’s no way of proving that he had smoked marijuana that day or perhaps even days earlier, and it could be, he smoked weeks earlier
B.P.-  John – as to your question: Does anyone ask if the “white community” will “riot” if the verdict goes against Zimmerman? Nobody asks this ridiculous question, and that is because you expect civility from white citizens — so why can’t we expect this same civility from the black community — from every community” of every race.
Perhaps if white people suffered injustices from a system over a long period of time and they felt disenfranchised from the legal system then perhaps they too would riot when an unfair decision was handed down. It is not a matter of “maturity” of the black community when they riot because they feel that the system is stacked against them. Why is it that the same amount of crack cocaine put a person in jail much, much longer then the same amount of powdered cocaine? Because crack was the “black” drug and powdered cocaine was the “white” drug. White people feel that when they have their day in court that they will be treated fairly; minorities don’t have the same expectations.
“Most states use a sliding scale of charges that might penalize a reckless mistake. Florida doesn’t.”

B.P.- The prosecution should argue that if Trayvon had smoked pot that day then he never got “high” – not at 9 ng/ml.

Contini  Bruce, Bill Cosby and many, many other successful men and women in the black community consider themselves just as much a fabric of the larger American community and they preach against white apologists and the kind of pandering you just did to the reactionary, base and bigoted street thinking, ie, shamefully using historical prejudice and injustice to advance violence even today in the age of entitlements and food stamps and section 8 and every other program designed to correct the disparity and historical injustice you describe — and now you want to add legitimized rioting and violence to that list of entitlements? Bruce, is this you?

B.P.-  No John. You have me all wrong. I did not say it was okay to riot if you don’t get your way. I said that I can understand why people do if they perceive that the system is not fair to them. You know that I am a quite conservative person – I cannot stand Obama – I’ve never voted for a democrat in my life; however we are not a colorblind society. Race matters. If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard the word ni**er uttered from a conservative persons mouth I would be a millionaire. The liberal solutions of socialism won’t bring anyone out of poverty but I’m not an ostrich with my head in the sand.

If the black community riots I’m all for bringing out the truncheons and bashing some heads to restore order. White people though need to walk in someone elses shoes and try to understand the historical reasons why some things exist. I know that my bluntness makes people uncomfortable but I say what needs to be said. Honesty and not political correctness will solve our problems. This is a major reason why the republican party is failing politically these days. There are plenty of conservative black and brown people that would join the party if they felt they were actually wanted. They work hard, they love their families, and they want their kids to do better then they did. Our dialog needs a refreshing honesty.

Contini So Bruce, tell us what you really think  You don’t leave anyone guessing. 
 
F.L.- Zimmerman’s shirt was wet – indicating he was on his back. Was it tea or watermelon juice that Martin bought – have read he’d purchased 2 of the necessary ingredients for “trank.” This is a media-made cause celebre that bumped into a scapegoat who had championed black causes. Does anyone remember Al Sharpton and Tawana Brawley? Manslaughter maybe; murder, no.

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About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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