Judge allows Zimmerman defense to introduce evidence of Martin’s marijuana use

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Judge allows Zimmerman defense to introduce Trayvon Martin's toxicology report

The teenager had THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system, the report says

Prosecutors objected to the admission of the report, saying it is bad-character evidence

Defense attorneys say alleged marijuana use may have affected Martin's decisions

CNN  — 

The Florida judge presiding over the George Zimmerman murder trial ruled Monday that Zimmerman’s attorneys will be able to present evidence about how Trayvon Martin may have been high on marijuana the night he was shot to death.

Martin’s toxicology report indicates that THC, the active drug in marijuana, was in his blood at the time of his death on February 26, 2012.

Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch captain, is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Florida. He told police that night that the teenager looked suspicious and that there had been several break-ins in the neighborhood. The two got into a physical altercation, and Zimmerman said he was forced to draw his gun and kill Martin.

Zimmerman’s attorneys argued Monday that the report shows Martin’s judgment may have been impaired the night of the shooting and that it may have affected his decision-making.

Prosecutors fought hard against the admission of Martin’s THC levels, accusing Zimmerman’s attorneys of trying to get bad-character evidence in through the backdoor.

Judge Debra Nelson told prosecutors they could cross-examine expert defense witness who testify about the effects of THC. Prosecutors can also call their own expert to contradict the defense’s case during their rebuttal.

Zimmerman’s drug use has also come up in the case. Ben Crump, Martin’s family’s attorney, says Zimmerman should have been tested for drugs the night of the shooting. A fire and EMS report says Zimmerman was on the medications Librax and Temazepam at the time of the incident.

WebMD says Librax is a combination of two drugs, one that reduces stomach cramping and another drug that reduces anxiety. Temazepam, according to WebMD, is a sleep medication that is used for the short-term treatment of insomnia.

It is not clear whether Zimmerman’s drug use the night of the shooting will be admissible at trial.