The real mystery is how Thompson lived as long as he did, drinking whiskey for breakfast, doing all manner of hard drugs, and hanging out with dangerous company. His life would have killed most of us long before cicumstances took him.
The fact of his living this this long this way debunks assorted myths associated with such activities; IE it's not what you do, it's what/who you are. Or choose to be.
These days, the easy choice is heroin, which kills kids indiscriminately... Sad but true. Their families, schoolmates, and communities are left holding the proverbial bag after the overdoses. These children don't have enough experience, in life, or with drugs to comprehend the consequences of their actions, or to deal with the heavy stuff they ingest thru whatever means. Then again, these are kids who grew up on prescribed cocktails of mood stabilsers and enhancers, in order that the system which struggles to contain or control them can bend them to fit the broken mold. This same system has brought heroin to their doorsteps via its misguided War.
The good doctor was merely ingesting likker, pills, psychedelics, & pot.
His legacy is what it is.