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George Zimmerman Didn’t Take His Ritalin

Last week I got a call from my mentor and friend Paradise Gray about my song, “Trayvon”(video below). He asked me what made me write the line, “George Zimmerman didn’t take his Ritalin”.  I told him other than the fact that it rhymed, a person that would profile, stalk, and kill a young unarmed man he had never met, had to have some control issues. He then told me about the recent revelation that George Zimmerman was taking two perception drugs, Adderall and Temazepam, and that Adderall, like Ritalin is prescribed for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Amazingly, I haven’t seen a lot of press about this.

I thought this was very interesting considering the national conversation around whether or not Trayvon smoked marijuana. The right wing actually used Trayvon’s possible past marijuana use as justification for his murder. News that trace elements of THC was found in Trayvon’s system the night he was killed, had these right winged racists jumping for joy.

Time Magazine asked the question, “Traces of Marijuana Found in Trayvon Martin’s Body: Does It Matter?” The answer is no. According to Carl Hart, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University and author of the leading college textbook on drug use and behavior, “THC in blood or urine tells us nothing about the level of intoxication.That would be like someone going to have a beer some evening, and when he goes to work the next day, you can find alcohol metabolites in his bodily fluids. That says nothing about his functioning.” He goes on to say, “I have given hundreds of doses of marijuana to people in the lab, and no one has gotten violent ever and everyone has been able to respond to the situation in an appropriate manner, when given low or large doses and single or repeated doses.”

Now, can we say the same thing about the drug Adderall? According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Adderall is used as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; more difficulty focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet than other people who are the same age) in adults and children. Clearly, George Zimmerman, who ignored a police order and followed, confronted and killed a unarmed boy, has problems controlling his actions. Some of the side effects when using Adderall are irritability, hyperactivity, and unusual changes in your personality or behavior. I’m still waiting for the media to bring on doctors and health experts to discuss how using these highly addictive prescription drugs contributed to Trayvon’s murder. I’m not gonna hold my breath.