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View Diary: UPDATED: Trayvon's pot smoking admissable, requested by those who clearly haven't smoked pot. (93 comments)

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  •  Begin with Zimmerman's prescriptions (13+ / 0-)

    Newspaper reports that George Zimmerman was taking prescription Temazepam (a benzodiazepine) at the time of the shooting.  Temazepan, a psychoactive medication of the sedative type, is used to treat anxiety disorders, and as a sleep aid.

    I do not know if George Zimmerman's blood or urine was sampled for drug testing at the time of the incident.

    Here is what the US Library of Medicine says about using Temazepam:

    “You should know that some people who took medications for sleep got out of bed and drove their cars, prepared and ate food, had sex, made phone calls, or were involved in other activities while partially asleep. After they woke up, these people were usually unable to remember what they had done. Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have been driving or doing anything else while you were sleeping.

    “You should know that your mental health may change in unexpected ways while you are taking this medication. It is hard to tell if these changes are caused by temazepam or if they are caused by physical or mental illnesses that you already have or suddenly develop. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms: aggressiveness, strange or unusually outgoing behavior, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist), feeling as if you are outside of your body, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, new or worsening depression, thinking about killing yourself, confusion, and any other changes in your usual thoughts, mood, or behavior. Be sure that your family knows which symptoms may be serious so that they can call the doctor if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.”
    (emphasis added)

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:04:03 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  My comments on Zman aren't postable here. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, Kevskos, protectspice
    •  Benzos have a huge abuse potential (7+ / 0-)

      and are very addictive; the withdrawl can be uuuuugly.

      But at least he wasn't smoking mara -ju-wanna.

      That would be bad.

      (Fucked up, upside down country)

      •  Benzos are "legal" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xxdr zombiexx, GAS, Neuroptimalian

        Benzos are legal, and (you said it) legal means "good".

        Cannabis is not legal (tho' it may be better than good).

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also, there's been no evidence whatsoever ... (0+ / 0-)

          that GZ had any problems or negative side effects from any medications he may have been taking, and without that, it's all speculation.

          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

          by Neuroptimalian on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:34:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Benzos, when used properly are also safe. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Some might also say guns, when used properly are safe.

        I would contend that guns, when used properly, propel a small but heavy material so quickly that it would pierce through a living being. The result is often intended to be fatal.

        This better be good. Because it is not going away.

        by DerAmi on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:50:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Properly" is the term (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hannibal, GAS

          THey should be used in conjunction with therapy and they aren't "medicine' that cures anything.

          They are drugs that have a specific effect for a specific length of time that do not build a "level' in the blood stream.

          They are used often as "prn' such that people can take them as they 'feel the need to'.

          They are ridiculously ove-rprescribed and too many people view them favorably because of this and they never realize the addictive potential until too late.

          There's no talking to them about it because "the doctor gives them to me".

        •  Risks and benefits (0+ / 0-)

          Like many things in our world (including guns), using Benzodiazepines (drugs like Valium and Temazepam) has both risks and benefits.

          Benzodiazepines (bzd) are use to treat anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, seizure disorders, act as muscle relaxants, and can be used as premedication for surgical procedures.  The benefits of bzd use are relief of feelings of anxiety and fear, feelings of panic, agitation, relief of insomnia, relief of muscle spasms.

          The risks of short-term bzd use are cognitive impariment, and paradoxical disinhibition (irritability, impulsivity) and aggressive behavior.  The risk of long-term bzd use are emotional lability, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, habituation and physical dependence.  Long-term bzd use during pregnancy is also associated with birth defects.

          Given that GZ viewed TM with some level of dislike and suspicion, and choose to arm himself when confronting TM, and then got in a fight with TM and ended up killing him, it seems to me highly likely that GZ may have been suffering from some of the negative consequences of bzd use.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:28:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And... (0+ / 0-)

        People who are addicted to benzo's are seriously mentally unstable, in too many ways to count.

    •  Hugh - there were no blood or urine samples (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neuroptimalian, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      taken from Zimmerman on the night of Martin's death.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 07:45:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I thought as much (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, DFWmom

        Given the initial diligence of the police in investigating the killing, their (now admitted) impression that Zimmerman was "credible", and Zimmerman telling everyone he is the "victim" of an attack, it seems obvious to me that the police would not ask for Zimmerman's blood or urine to test for drugs.

        But, doctor's records will exist of prescriptions written, and pharmacy records can show when a prescription was filled.

        If I was the prosecutor, I would be aggressively following up on Zimmerman's drug use.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:01:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hugh - without actual proof on that night (3+ / 0-)

          none of those other facts are admissible. The prosecution hasn't tried because it's a dead end.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:04:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "What's good for the goose..." (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, GAS, DFWmom

            As lawyers like to put it: "what's good for the goose is good for the gander".  

            Given that the judge has ruled that TM's psychoactive substance use is admissible in the trial, if I were part of the prosecution, I would strongly be arguing that GZ's psychoactive substance use should also be admissible.

            You may be right that such an argument is a dead end: the judge could rule that only TM's psychoactive substance use is admissible, and GZ's psychoactive substance use is not admissible.  It may be that GZ never had a prescription for Temazepam, and the news reports I saw were erroneous.

            Given what is known about how benzodiazepines effect people, I will always wonder what role benzos played in Zimmerman's actions that night.

            As an aside, I think some municipalities have a policy to automatically take blood and urine toxicology tests of police who have been involved in a police shooting.  

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:41:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hugh - there is no doubt that the SPD dropped (4+ / 0-)

              the ball on this issue, and many others, and that it has hampered the prosecution's case.  The problem is that there is no way to know if someone is actually taking a drug, and had a therapeutic amount in their system, without a blood or urine sample at the time of the event in question.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 08:49:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Whatever evidence, if any, that he had any of these medications in his system if forever gone, because the police didn't due any testing on him. You can't use that which does not exist.

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