Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Zimmermann and Martin, One More Time

The latest news out of this case is the rumor that Trayvon Martin was a user of a concoction called "Lean" or "Purple Drank," a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southeastern United States.

A simple review of a number of Martin's Facebook posting make it clear that he was in fact pursuing the ingredients for "Lean." The latest right wing claim is that the Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Drink (NOT Ice Tea as it turns out) represented 2/3 of the formula with over-the-counter Robitussin cough syrup the final 1/3 and that Martin must have been high on "Lean" which, so they claim, can produce side effects of "paranoia and agitation."

Time out guys. The main ingredient for Purple Drank is prescription cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine which is exactly what Martin is looking for in his posts. If he ever succeeded is unknown.

Codeine is the active ingredient and the syrup is usually mixed with a soft drink like Sprite and a hard candy such as Jolly Ranchers which gives it flavor to cover the cough syrup which is pretty vile. To imply that Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail, Skittles and over-the-counter Robitussin are the ingredients for "Purple Drank" is flat out dishonest. At most it's some sort of kiddy version.

Now, that doesn't mean there wasn't some sort of street formula out there claiming such a mix would provide a high. But the codeine is the active ingredient in "Purple Drank" and there is no codeine in those ingredients. So, I don't see how it could be more effective than the alcohol content of the Robitussin or as a sort of street placebo.

In any event, Martin certainly didn't have the time to mix anything and no cough syrup, codeine based or otherwise, was found.

Is anyone really shocked that a 17-year-old was into, or trying to get into, the current thing? As for the side effects of "Purple Drank" (which Martin wasn't making without codeine), I've never seen "paranoia and agitation" listed as effects. Rather the opposite so I'd have to see a reputable medical source for that claim.

But ultimately, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is what happened that night and we'll never know the whole story. What we do know, or don't know, is:

(1) Zimmerman left his car to see which direction Martin went. When asked by the 911 operator if he was following Martin, and he said he was, he was told he didn't have to do that.

(2) We don't know how the physical confrontation started. Everyone talks about Zimmerman's right to self-defense but Martin had the same right and Zimmerman was the man with the gun.

(3) Martin had no knife or other weapon. He wasn't much of a "thug," as I've heard him called, if he wasn't even carrying a knife.

(4) Zimmerman knew the police were on the way because he had spoken to the 9/11 operator yet somehow he still felt he had no choice other than to put a 9 mm slot into Martin's heart.

The jury said not guilty and we should accept that. Only Zimmerman knows the true story and he'll have to live with it.

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