In an over-zealous attempt to plead his case against the legalization of marijuana, Annapolis police chief Michael Pristoop stood before the Maryland legislature earlier this week citing statistics from a viral piece of news satire that reported 37 overdose deaths in Colorado on New Year’s Day as the result of marijuana.
“The first day of legalization, that’s when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana,” said Pristoop during Tuesday’s meeting with the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. “I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths.”
Of course, it didn’t take long before Senator Jamie Raskin, who recently introduced a measure to legalize marijuana, called bullshit on Pristoop’s misinformation. “Unless you have some other source for this, I’m afraid I’ve got to spoil the party here,” said Raskin. “Your assertion that 37 people died of a marijuana overdose in Colorado was a hoax on The Daily Currant and the Comedy Central website.”
Senator Raskin is, in fact, correct. The article entitled “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization” was published on January 2 by The Daily Currant, which according to their website, is a satirical newspaper on a mission to “ridicule the timid ignorance which obstructs our progress.”
The Daily Currant’s article was obviously intended to poke fun at marijuana’s opposing forces and their staunch belief that legalizing the leaf will lead to hellfire and the destruction of civil society. The piece is loaded with phony quotes from medical professionals and beer moguls -- it even makes reference to AMC’s hit television crime drama “Breaking Bad.”
“One of the victims was 29-year-old Jesse Bruce Pinkman, a former methamphetamine dealer from Albuquerque who had recently moved to Boulder to establish a legal marijuana dispensary,” reads the article from The Daily Currant.
After receiving a bit of a spanking from Senator Raskin for presenting an argument backed by foul ignorance, Pristopp made a stuttering effort to save face with the committee. “If it was a misquote,” said Pristopp, “then I’ll stand behind the mistake. But I’m holding on to information I was provided.”
However, the misguided police chief later realized just how much of a blunder he had made, issuing a Facebook statement with his tail tucked firmly between his legs. “I apologize for the information I provided concerning the deaths,” wrote Pristopp. “I believed the information I obtained was accurate but I now know the story is nothing more than an urban legend.”
Without a doubt, a more detailed search of The Daily Currant’s fabled “marijuana deaths” would have saved Pristoop a lot of unnecessary embarrassment; however, the mayor of Annapolis says he supports the police chief’s goof, calling it a “good faith mistake.” He adds that a recent insurgence in heroin deaths across the city may have caused Pristoop to speak out of school. “Clearly when you’re constantly dealing with a drug where people overdose, it’s probably in your head to think overdoses, drugs,” said the mayor.
Sheriff Andy Taylor was not available for comment.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.