Maryland police chief believed Colorado marijuana overdose hoax story



We all know cops aren’t the brightest bulbs on the shelf (after all, if they were smarter they wouldn’t be cops). But in case you needed a reminder of the mental heavyweights we are dealing with, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop had to publicly apologize yesterday for passing on a satirical, hoax news story claiming 37 marijuana deaths the day Colorado legalized pot sales.
Even better: Pristoop admits that he believed the information was completely accurate, and even though none of it is true he still is sticking by his wrongheaded position.

“I apologize for the information I provided concerning the deaths. I believed the information I obtained was accurate but I now know the story is nothing more than an urban legend,” Pristoop said. “This does not take away from the other facts presented in opposition to legalization or the good work of the Maryland Chiefs and Maryland Sheriffs associations.”
Except that any “facts” the Maryland Sheriffs Association presents from here on out will be highly suspect considering their highest-ranking officer doesn’t know that it is physically impossible to overdose on cannabis.
Pristoop made the error when speaking before the Maryland State Judiciary Committee. He was trying to argue that marijuana decriminalization undermines police efforts in the state. He said he would never forget January 1, 2015.
“I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths,” he told the committee at the time.
Thankfully, Maryland legislators aren’t nearly as stupid, and immediately called Pristoop out on his bullshit. Not that he believed them right away.
“If it was a misquote,” Pristoop told the committee after he was called out, “then I’ll stand behind the mistake. But I’m holding on to information I was provided.”
To be fair, the fake marijuana death story fooled a lot of people. Of course, the only people it actually fooled clearly don’t know a damn thing about cannabis. It included some real gems of made-up comments from doctors at the nonexistent St. Lukes hospital in Denver:
“”It’s complete chaos here,” says Dr. Jack Shepard, chief of surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver. “I’ve put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute. We are seeing cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria and multiple organ failures. By next week the death toll could go as high as 200, maybe 300. Someone needs to step in and stop this madness. My god, why did we legalize marijuana? What were we thinking?”
The article also fooled Beatrice Ask, Sweden’s justice minister. Unlik Pristoop, however, Ask didn’t own up to making a mistake and tried to play it off like she knew it was satire.