Apparently it's somewhat well known political satire isn't huge in Sweden. That was made painfully clear this week when Beatrice Ask, Sweden's Justice Minister, posted a link to a satirical article claiming that 37 people had overdosed and died on the day Colorado legalized adult sales of cannabis.
Wikimedia commons/Mats Holmström Beatrice Ask.
"Stupid and sad," she wrote after posting the article on line via Facebook. "My first bill in the youth wing was called Outfight the Drugs! In this matter I haven't changed opinion at all."
And, of course, the conservative political leader quickly was lambasted being so out of touch that she could even think for a second that the article was real (Admittedly we can't understand most of it considering the most Swedish we know is the name of our couch and table set from Ikea).
Sweden has a pretty Reagan-esque view on cannabis in general. As David Olson, columnist for The Local, an English-language paper in Sweden, wrote:
"Marijuana is unacceptable in Sweden, both legally and socially. If you lit a joint outside one of the coolest clubs in Södermalm, even the hippest of the hipsters might look at you like you were shooting heroin in an H&M. And that's nothing compared to what the police would do if they smelled something funky on you in the bowels of the Stockholm metro. A spliff of Swedish weed could mean a one-way ticket back to the United States for an immigrant like me, and severely impact any Swedish citizen's future based on the social stigma of having such a crime on his or her record."
After the backlash, Ask's press secretary released a statement saying that Ask realized the article was a joke and was aiming her "stupid and sad" comments at the authors for joking about people dying from smoking cannabis.
Which, again, shows she doesn't really get the joke. It's not sad to make fun of nonexistent deaths from because NOBODY has ever died from cannabis use alone (nor will they).