Skittles and Iced Tea? Or Purple Drank?

Trayvon Martin

Trayvon Martin – Click to enlarge

It’s all over HLN and just about every media outlet: Trayvon Martin killed for being armed with Skittles and iced tea.  Trayvon was an innocent young kid who was gunned down for the heinous crime of walking while black.  All claims that persist to this day despite the fact that eye witnesses put Trayvon on top of Zimmerman pummeling him MMA style, and the jury concurred.

If the witness accounts about Trayvon attacking Zimmerman are true, what may have been his motive?  Perhaps one could assume that it was anger over being followed by Zimmerman, something Trayvon’s girlfriend, Rachel Jeantel, states Trayvon was concerned with while talking to her on the phone that night.  Some have surmised that Trayvon may have been on drugs.  Even though drug tests revealed Trayvon had recently used marijuana, nobody truly believes that would cause the paranoid and violent behavior he exacted that night according to Zimmerman’s account of the events that night (and the jury’s conclusion).

Still today, post-verdict, Skittles and iced tea still serve as symbols of racism in the aftermath of Trayvon’s shooting and George Zimmerman’s trial.  Some schools have actually held Trayvon Martin Day while handing out Skittles to kids and tea to parents for attending such events.  As you’ll see, however, Trayvon Martin having Skittles and iced tea may reveal a lot more about the events of that night than anyone could have ever imagined.

Purple Drank or Lean
Purple drank is a slang term for a recreational drug popular in the hip hop community in the southern United States, originating in Houston, Texas. Its main ingredient is prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine.  Give HLN an “F” for their research department.

Purple Drank

Purple Drank, or Lean – Click to enlarge

As previously stated, Trayvon Martin have felt sufficiently paranoid to lash out violently in the way Zimmerman and witnesses claim.  This is important because a street drug that is popular in the young urban community known as Purple Drank or Lean produces those very side effects — agitation and paranoia.

Purple Drank or Lean is a cocktail that is created by mixing Robitussin or other over-the-counter cough medicines with — yes — Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Juice, the same flavor of tea Trayvon Martin was carrying that night.

Purple Drank also goes by other street names such as sizzurp, lean, syrup, sip sip, drank, barre, purple jelly and Texas tea.  It has opiate-like effects.  Some of its side effects include confusion, agitation, and hallucinations among others. describes the drugs popularity in the hip hop community:

Purple drank grew out of the underground Houston hip-hop community in the 1990s along with chopped and screwed rap music—a slowed down, remixing of rap songs using skipped beats and scratching. DJ Screw aka Robert Earl Davis Jr. is said to have originated the style of the slow chopped and screwed, which compliments purple drank’s effects of relaxing the user.

DJ Screw died in 2000 of a codeine overdose. That same year, Three 6 Mafia’s song “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” made purple drank mainstream. The group’s song “Rainbow Colors” is about adding Jolly Rancher candy to create the desired rainbow.

Around this same time, evidence of purple drank began showing up across the South from Lafayette, Louisiana to Pensacola, FL.

Purple Drank ingredients

Purple Drank ingredients – Click to enlarge

In a 2004 University of Texas survey, according to a USA Today article, “8.3% of Texas secondary students reported having taken enough codeine syrup to get high.”

Terrence Kiel, a defensive back with the San Diego Chargers was arrested in 2006 for illegally shipping cases of prescription cough syrup to Texas.

In a 2008 MTV interview with Lil Wayne, the rapper discusses his addiction to purple drink, and how hard it is to get off it, saying it feels like “death in your stomach.”

It is unknown whether the autopsy performed on Trayvon Martin looked for or found elevated levels of cough syrup in his blood, but messages on social media seem to offer a clue as to whether or not Trayvon was manufacturing Purple Drank:

Trayvon Martin used Purple Drank (Lean)

Trayvon Martin used Purple Drank (Lean), which includes codeine and/or Robitussin

Things become even more clear when you look at the accurate [popup url=""]timeline of events[/popup] that took place the night of the incident.

Let me be extremely clear here.  Although there is ample evidence that Trayvon Martin was using Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea to make Purple Drank / Lean, I’m merely offering an explanation as to why he may have been paranoid and agitated.  I’m not saying that this should have ended in a tragedy.  But I am giving you information HLN and the media will not give you, and hopefully offering some insight as to why Trayvon Martin acted the way he did.

As always, please share your thoughts and comment(s) below!

Jason Weber
Founder of Occupy HLN. Hockey player-turned-professional. Graduate of Cornell University's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management '97. Sports fanatic, enjoy networking, and keeping up with current events. Technocrat, Schema, SEO, blogaholic, social media contributor, Stack Exchange contributor, and keeping up with G's daily algorithmic alterations.
Jason Weber


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