As the trial of George Zimmerman continues, a piece of the defense's strategy was recently revealed when Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara told CNN host Piers Morgan that small amounts of marijuana can cause aggression.
On Monday, Judge Debra Nelson reversed her previous decision and ruled she would allow the results of Trayvon Martin's toxicology report to be read in court.
The Smoking Gun suggests her change of mind may have hinged on testimony last Friday by the medical examiner who performed Martin's autopsy and told the jury that the small amount of marijuana found in Martin's system "could have no effect or some effect" on the teenager's behavior.
Speaking with Morgan on Monday, O'Mara argued that the jurors had a right to hear this evidence as “Any level of pot in [Martin's] system could have some effect."
“And of course that falls in line with what Zimmerman stated in his first couple of moments with the non-emergency operator when he said that 'it looks like he’s on drugs or something,'" O'Mara said.
Zimmerman is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Martin in February 2012. He maintains it was in self-defense.
When Morgan expressed skepticism that marijuana could have affected Martin's behavior, O'Mara pressed on.
“Well, actually, there are some studies out there — particularly with young males — that suggest that even low levels of cannabis use can lead to some aggression," he told Morgan. "So, the question is not how much, but if in fact there has been some effect, and if that effect was noticed by George Zimmerman, then I think it is relevant."
However, O'Mara has previously made this argument, suggesting that drug use could have made Martin aggressive or even paranoid, The New York Times reports.
In a recent column for Time, Maia Szalavitz compared the way the media has portrayed Martin and Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when it comes to marijuana use. The piece, titled "From ‘Aggressive’ Trayvon to ‘Laid-Back’ Dzhokhar — Marijuana’s Changing Image," reads in part:
But differences in the way the media have covered their cannabis use portend a major shift in public attitudes about the drug, as well as a troubling reminder of the racism that still largely prevents us from seeing drugs as a health issue.
BEFORE YOU GO
07/13/2013 11:22 PM EDT
Family Attorney Presser Finished
The family attorneys have finished speaking.
07/13/2013 11:19 PM EDT
'Please Respect Their Privacy'
"Please respect their privacy," Crump said of the Martin family.
07/13/2013 11:18 PM EDT
"Jurors were given packets of letters from the media containing interview requests. They expressed no interest at this time," Kennedy said.
07/13/2013 11:17 PM EDT
'Anonymity Order Is Still In Effect'
"Anonymity order is still in effect... Any attempt to identify jurors is a violation of the current order," said Michelle Kennedy, Public Information Officer for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.
07/13/2013 11:16 PM EDT
'We Must All Be Peaceful'
"For Trayvon to rest in peace we must all be peaceful," Benjamin Crump said.
07/13/2013 11:13 PM EDT
Martin Family Attorney's Speaking
"We are very, very saddened," Darryl Parks said.
07/13/2013 11:09 PM EDT
'Jury Has No Desire To Speak'
"Jury has no desire to speak to media," said Michelle Kennedy, Public Information Officer for the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit.
07/13/2013 11:08 PM EDT
Defense Presser Finished
The defense has finished talking.
07/13/2013 11:05 PM EDT
Zimmerman Will Get Back His Gun
Under Florida law, Zimmerman will get back this gun which he used to kill Trayvon Martin pic.twitter.com/gAk3uZ7ZuO— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 14, 2013
07/13/2013 11:02 PM EDT
'Nothing Can Bring Back Trayvon Martin'
"[Martin's family] suffered a tragedy ... Nothing can bring back Trayvon Martin ... But I'm not going to shy away from the fact that the evidence showed George Zimmerman did nothing wrong," O'Mara said.