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Pothead Jared Loughner was a Bush hating, 9/11 truther
But Mr. Tidaback did not recall ever seeing Jared’s father at any of the rehearsals or performances. And one other thing: the music director suspected that the teenager might be using marijuana.
“Being around people who smoke pot, they tend to be a little paranoid,” Mr. Tidaback said. “I got that sense from him. That might have been part of his being withdrawn.”
Mr. Tidaback, it seems, was onto something. Several of Jared’s friends said he used marijuana, mushrooms and, especially, the hallucinogenic herb called Salvia divinorum. When smoked or chewed, the plant can cause brief but intense highs.
None of this necessarily distinguished him from his high school buddies. Several of them dabbled in drugs, played computer games like World of Warcraft and Diablo and went through Goth and alternative phases. Jared and a friend, Zane Gutierrez, would also shoot guns for practice in the desert; Jared, Mr. Gutierrez recalled, became quite proficient at picking off can targets with a gun.
But Jared, a curious teenager who at times could be intellectually intimidating, stood out because of his passionate opinions about government — and his obsession with dreams.
He became intrigued by antigovernment conspiracy theories, including that the Sept. 11 attacks were perpetrated by the government and that the country’s central banking system was enslaving its citizens. His anger would well up at the sight of President George W. Bush, or in discussing what he considered to be the nefarious designs
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