Travis Tiger King Weed
Travis Tiger King Weed

Why Did Tiger King's Husband Travis Maldonado Love Weed So Much?

Travis Maldonado was supposedly high all day on the Netflix' series Tiger King

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Tuesday Apr 14, 2020

Why Tiger King’s Husband Travis Maldonado Loved Weed So Much

tiger king weed travis marijuana

Watching Tiger King is like eating fast-food: you know it’s bad for you, it’s made with horrible ingredients, but you just can’t stop eating it.


The show revealed some of the many things that are wrong with America, though perhaps the most shocking takeaway is how brutal these regular people are to animals. But I want to focus on one aspect today that struck me from the show: how Travis Maldonado, one of Joe Exotic’s husbands, loved weed so much.


*spoiler alert!


Travis, a 19 year old straight man, somehow fell in love with Joe when they met. But Travis was already struggling with his addiction to meth before he even arrived at the zoo. The documentary details how Joe kept Travis in the zoo, supplying his addictions (meth and pot), and not allowing him to leave.


It doesn’t take much to see that Travis was in a very dark place before he met Joe. He had mental issues, it was easy to see. He already had a history of substance abuse, but those around him thought that working with animals would save his life and end the drugs.


Everything must have blown up in his face once he entered the zoo, and he didn’t feel like he had much control over his new reality, especially when Joe was around. Joe Exotic was a control freak when it came to his lovers. Add to that being high on weed and meth all the time, and one effectively shuts out the real world.


Or does one?


Because it didn’t seem too successful. Maldonado tragically ended his life when he accidentally shot himself in the head. Investigators found weed in his pocket at the time it happened. However, from the show it was easy to see that his drugs were his clutches; his aids in helping him block the unwanted thoughts, numb the painful feelings, from his life.


We know that meth takes you into a dangerous downward spiral and having a mental condition already makes everything so much worse. But why weed?


Well, like other drugs and even alcohol, cannabis can help reduce inhibitions. We know it’s safe and doesn’t have any side effects, but just like other mind-altering substances, being high is helpful in removing the mental filters that force you to conform to what is “normal”. It allows you to express who you really are, and your deepest thoughts are brought to the surface. Perhaps the very same reasons why cannabis works so well for people who are depressed and anxious, may be the same reasons why people like Travis Maldonado relied on it so heavily to cast smoke and mirrors mentally over his current reality.


I did some thinking, and another possible reason why Travis enjoyed weed so much as his new person, going from straight to homosexual, was perhaps the sexual satisfaction that came with it. Science and anecdotal evidence tells us that cannabis makes sex more pleasurable, and it’s the same with gay men. Cannabis has anesthetic properties, and given that Travis was straight, it may have made his sex life with Joe Exotic less painful, at the very least.


Putting things simply, it seemed that Travis relied on cannabis to dull his pains – mentally and physically.


Jeff Lowe, the zoo’s new owner, also disclosed during the documentary: “Joe kept Travis pumped up full of weed to keep him from waking up and realizing this isn’t a life to live,” he says.


It makes complete sense, because Travis eventually became so unhappy with his life at the zoo that he even complained he was a prisoner, and wanted to look for another job. But Joe wanted to keep him in the zoo and force him into a life he didn’t want, just like the tigers he keeps in there.


It was a prison, no doubt.


Then there’s also the fact that more queer people use weed, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Higher prevalence of cannabis use also coexists with the fact that more queer folk experience mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, PTSD, and physical pain because of the oppression and marginalization that they experience.


If Travis was already suffering from several mental problems, it was much worse when he was trapped in the zoo with Joe, no pun intended.


With all these things considered, it seems that pot as well as meth, were Travis’ only panacea for the dark, dreadful life he was living beneath Joe Exotic’s wings. It was only too unfortunate that he was unable to get out and as a result, took his own life.








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