Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Jason Louv2
Was Michael Hastings on DMT?
Dead journalist was a DMT user, but allegations that drug use caused his car crash don’t hold up
Michael Hastings—the journalist who shamed General Stanley McChrystal out of a job, and who was later found dead after having crashed his car into a tree under mysterious circumstances—may have had drugs in his system at the time of his death. But the details may surprise you.
The LA County Coroner’s report on Hastings (see the whole thing here) shows that the journalist had trace amounts of amphetamine (likely Adderall) and marijuana in his bloodstream, but that the substances had been taken long before the crash, and couldn’t have been contributing factors. Yet despite this information, most of the stories about Hastings’ death have suggested that the crash can therefore be called an accident once and for all, with foul play ruled out. Not so widely reported is the new information that before his death, Hastings expressed fears to a neighbor that his car had been tampered with.
Hastings’ family also reported to the media that the journalist was a user of DMT, a fast-acting and incredibly potent hallucinogen that affects users for only about five to ten minutes, during which they lose sense of having a body and experience alien, fractal landscapes. Its use would certainly be consistent with Hastings’ intensity-seeking, war journalist character—yet DMT is not a drug that people abuse; its use is often so traumatically bizarre that those who experience it tend not to want to rush out to take more any time soon. In addition, its users are incapacitated and generally unable to move, let alone drive a car, during the time that they are under the drug’s affects. After the comedown, normal reasoning and motor function are returned in an unimpaired state—driving a car wouldn’t be a problem. (DMT used to be called the “businessman’s high,” as it was short-acting enough to be used on a lunch break before returning to work.)
In addition to all that, there was no DMT found in Hastings’ system. So claims that Hastings was a reckless, drug-addled madman don’t hold up—even if he was a drug user, nothing he was doing would have caused him to drive his car into a tree, as the toxicology report confirms.
(For more info: DMT: The Spirit Molecule)
Below, watch Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks discuss Hastings’ toxicology report and its subsequent spin throughout the media.