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Autopsy: Journalist Michael Hastings had PTSD, used drugs

By Matt Smith, CNN
updated 5:57 PM EDT, Tue August 20, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Hastings likely died instantly, autopsy report states
  • Drugs residues in his system don't appear to have played a role in the crash
  • Hastings was known for a Rolling Stone piece that got a top general sacked
  • He had been using medical marijuana to treat PTSD, the report states

(CNN) -- War correspondent Michael Hastings may have been using marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder before his death, but drug use doesn't appear to have been a factor in his fatal car accident, according to his autopsy report.

Hastings, 33, likely died within seconds when his Mercedes-Benz slammed into a tree in Los Angeles on June 18, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office found. He was best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, that led to McChrystal being sacked.

Hastings had been using medical marijuana, "believed as prescribed for PTSD as decedent was a war journalist," the report states. Small amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine residues were found in Hastings' blood after the accident, suggesting "prior, but not recent" usage, the report states.

Hastings' family was attempting to persuade him to enter a rehabilitation program, it adds. But drug use was "unlikely contributory to death," a statement from the coroner's office said.

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