Tucson Massacre: Jared Loughner Was Known To Smoke Salvia

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Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 8:59 AM
click to enlarge Jared Loughner and Miley Cyrus have something in common.
  • Jared Loughner and Miley Cyrus have something in common.

While some speculated whether his onetime daily weed smoking could have had an affect on his psyche, a childhood friend of Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner said this week the 22-year-old was also known to use the legal, cannabis-like drug Salvia.

That substance was made famous by Miley Cyrus last month when she was captured on video taking a hit of what she said was Salvia from a bong. Know for its intense, quickly fading high (and, some say, headache-like effects), some states have moved to outlaw it.

Here's what Loughner's high school friend, Zach Osler, told ABC News:

"He would say he would be using it (Salvia) and talk about what it would do to him, and I would say, 'Dude, that's, that's screwed up.'"

Meanwhile the debate over the effects of Loughner's past pot use raged. It's a hot topic in L.A., the medical marijuana capital of the nation.

In 2007 Loughner was arrested on suspicion of drug and paraphernalia possession after an officer smelled marijuana in a car he was riding in.

Molecular biologist and co-discoverer of DNA James Watson told the website bigthink that it's possible daily bud use could throw someone off their rocker - but it's rare:

"It's clear that if you're pre-disposed to schizophrenia, smoking marijuana will tip you over. But marijuana won't tip over someone into schizophrenia that is probably not predisposed to it. So, you know, most people smoke it and do not end up in mental hospitals. But some do."

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