In another blow to conspiracy theorists, recently released toxicology reports show that Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings had traces of amphetamines and marijuana in his system at the time of his death in June of this year.
While the report, published in the LA Times, stated that neither substance was factor in the crash, it stands to reason that the drugs he took had a part to play in the speed he was traveling at. As the Times reported, “The cause of death was massive blunt force trauma consistent with a high-speed crash. He likely died within seconds, the report said.”
Amphetamines can cause euphoria, hallucinations, aggression, and a state of grandiosity, – all states of mind that would lead a young man driving an expensive sports car (a 200 horse power Mercedes C250) to drive at high speed. Apparently Hastings had relapsed into drug use a month or so before the crash. The Times report continued:
Hastings had arrived in Los Angeles from New York the day before the accident, with his brother scheduled to arrive later the day of the crash “as his family was attempting to get [Hastings] to go to detox,” the report stated.
Hastings was believed sober for 14 years, but had recently begun using drugs again in the past month or so, according to the coroner’s office, based on interviews with family members.
A medical marijuana card was found in Hastings wallet and had been prescribed for treatment of post-traumatic stress resulting from his time as a war journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While much of the loony left and Alex Jones right immediately assumed that the Obama administration had killed Hastings via remote control, Hastings’ family has remained far more rational. Elise Jordan, Michael’s wife, told Piers Morgan that her gut feeling was that Hastings death was nothing more than a tragic accident.
“I have no doubt that he was pursuing a hot story. He always had at least five hot stories going — that was Michael,” Jordan said. “Right now, the LAPD still has an active investigation. I don’t really have anything to add. My gut here is that it was just a really tragic accident and I’m very unlucky and the world is very unlucky.”
Not that this will stem the flow of gibberish coming from supposedly reputable journalists, who seem to think that reporting on a story consists of coming up with a hypothesis before gathering any facts, then trying to do everything in their power to prove it (in other words, the exact opposite of what a real journalist is supposed to do). Info Wars, Alex Jones’s website, has already put out a piece questioning the findings, concluding that “it does little to answer the questions surrounding the Rolling Stone journalist’s suspicious car crash,” (I’m not providing the link – google it if you really feel the need).
Sure, Hastings may have been killed by the US government for a story he was working on, but before drawing that conclusion it would be a good idea to have some actual fucking evidence. And as the actual facts emerge, we’re finding out the exact opposite – that a young man who may have been high on amphetamines was speeding, crashed his car and tragically died.
It’s not particularly controversial, and there’s not much to get angry about. It’s just really, really sad.
UPDATE: A commenter wrote in taking issue with my portrayal of the toxicology report, saying: “The report states that the amphetamines found in his system were “unlikely to have an intoxicative effect at the time of the accident” so your statement that “Amphetamines can cause euphoria, hallucinations, aggression, and a state of grandiosity, – all states of mind that would lead a young man driving an expensive sports car (a 200 horse power Mercedes C250) to drive at high speed” is not supported by the report”. Perhaps I should have been more explicit about this, but anyone who knows anything about drug abuse (particularly methamphetamine) knows that it has long term side effects that are on display regardless of whether the drug is in their system or not. Euphoria, aggression, grandiosity are all LONG TERM symptoms of methamphetamine abuse, and all symptoms that would make someone more likely to speed in a high powered sports car.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.