Top

blog

Stories

 

"Marijuana Overdose Kill 37" satire fools police chief nearly two months after publication

dead.body.thinkstock.205x205.jpg
More photos, videos below.
In early January, shortly after the launch of legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, we posted about several pot satires that were mistaken for actual news, including one claiming that weed overdoses killed 37 people on day one of retail operations here. Michael Pristoop was among those fooled, and he stands out for three reasons. First, he's a Maryland police chief. Secondly, he cited the article in testimony before a state senate committee. And finally, his statement came nearly two months after the article had been widely debunked.

Here's a screen capture from the aforementioned story, published by The Daily Currant:

marijuana.overdoses.daily.currant-thumb-565x306.jpg
As we noted in January, clues that the item isn't legit come early and often. For instance, the source of the information is supposedly the Rocky Mountain News, which has been shuttered for several years, and folks quoted include Dr. Jack Shepherd, a character from Lost, and Jesse Pinkman, one of the principals in Breaking Bad.

Nonetheless, the post went viral, with plenty of commenters expressing shock and awe about the body count. But within days, pretty much everyone should have realized the item was phony, right?

michael.pristoop.jpg
Police Chief Michael Pristoop.
Enter Pristoop, the police chief in Annapolis, Maryland. He reportedly cited the article in testimony before a senate committee in Maryland last week -- after which he was smacked with loads o' ridicule, as epitomized by the three videos at the end of this post.

Shortly thereafter, the City of Annapolis put out the following release:

Chief Apologizes for Testimony Error

On Tuesday February 25, 2013 Chief Michael Pristoop testified in front of the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee opposing the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. During his testimony the Chief indicated a number of deaths occurred in Colorado on the first day of marijuana legalization in that State. Chief Pristoop, after conducting additional research, discovered that the numbers presented were not accurate but an urban myth. "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," Chief Michael Pristoop stated. "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."
Of course, calling the story an "urban myth" is highly questionable. It's not as if the tale had been circulating for years before being accepted as truth. As for fact checking, there's this little thing called Google....

Still, the Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell doesn't dismiss this incident as a joke.

Via e-mail, Angell writes, "This just underscores why we should not be treating drug issues with a law enforcement approach. But as long as marijuana remains illegal and a mater for the criminal justice system, cops like Chief Pristoop will be charged with trying to solve health issues with badges and handcuffs instead of letting doctors who have medical degrees effectively focus resources on people who actually need help."

Here are three marijuana-centric clips about Pristoops's oops.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Marijuana archive circa January 6: "'Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37' story among Colorado pot satires some take seriously."


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
49 comments
Gail Runkles
Gail Runkles

Guys like him should not be allowed to test for DWI for marijuana. He's obviously biased and ignorant.

Jo Ellipsis
Jo Ellipsis

as my momma aways said,"if it looks like penis, and acts like a penis, it probably a dick."

Morganne Foster
Morganne Foster

It's frightening that people like this man are entrusted with the decision making powers of putting people in jail. So miserably ignorant and gullible.

Sean M. Chase
Sean M. Chase

Haha! It's from the old anti-marijuana propaganda film "Reefer Madness" from the '30s. You haven't seen it?! You must! It's hilarious.

Sean M. Chase
Sean M. Chase

It's the Devil's weed with its roots in Hell!

Bernie Weber
Bernie Weber

Someon needs to tell this guy the entire fleet of squad cars need the winter air in their tires replaced with spring air in three weeks time.

Lynn Stiles
Lynn Stiles

Either buy a current paper or try checking your facts. Lol or just go do your real job. Pleanty of laws to in force.

Popo Greene
Popo Greene

I wonder why The Annapolis Police Department has taken their Facebook page down? Hahaha

Matt Eenhuis
Matt Eenhuis

This is why you don't do that. Its a misinformed public that causes problems! Stop satire news. You all make satire news to make fun of certain networks who don't speak full truths and furthermore misinform the...lack of common sense people! Propaganda at its best!!!!!!

Rob Rosello
Rob Rosello

He's tight. lol. What kind do investigator doesn't check his sources--this is not cool on a number of levels.

Isaac Carpenter
Isaac Carpenter

No you make yourself look stupid with a comment like that. Legalization is a relevant topic and something many people are interested in. If you've got more interesting things to share why not start your own news website or blog? Why read the Westword if you're just going to get yourself all upset over it?

Isaac Carpenter
Isaac Carpenter

What does is say about our news sources? It was a parody article on the Daily Currant which only does satirical articles. It filled its purpose just fine by exposing stupid people who fall for it. "Art is the lie that reveals the truth" -Pablo Picasso

Matt Pyles
Matt Pyles

Wow! What a Moron to think 37 people o'd! Geez... 37! If 37 people died, it'd be on CNN!

Dustin Huett
Dustin Huett

I call Bull shit if it did it was laced with somethin else shoulda bought it in colorado dummy

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay

This is all due to the PPP and their damn a64.  If it wasn't for a64 this guy wouldn't have made that mistake.  It's causing all the worlds ill's.


hth

Trevor Davis
Trevor Davis

that says something about our "news" sources

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

Dear westword writer...once again you are the worst...you write the weakest least informative bull crap on this subject!!!YOU MAKE OUR STATE LOOK STUPID ALL THE TIME WITH YOUR STUPID STORIES ON MARIJUANA!!!

Mercedes Dantes
Mercedes Dantes

I can't believe a man can reach this stature as an authority figure and still not know that you can't OD on MJ. WTF!?

Marcus Netters
Marcus Netters

This is the guy whose suppose to protect and serve yet he's a dolt

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

I'm sure the residents of Annapolis feel super comfortable he's in charge of the police and their investigations.

James Gold
James Gold

Never overestimate the brains of a cop.

Vern Roach
Vern Roach

Looks like the usual thoughtful well researched information on which we have always been able to depend from most law enforcement officials.

Alex Montano
Alex Montano

Another "urban legend".. Donkey shows... This issue should be addresed right away!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

"Marijuana Overdoes [sic]  Kill 37"


Epic Bong-sucking Stoner FAIL !!



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Another poster made the point when this story first appeared that, since many readers would take it at face value, it was not a fit subject for satire, and subsequent events have proven him dead-on.  Chief Pristoop of Annapolis is just the tip the iceberg -- he may have retracted his claim, but he attempted to defend it during his testimony.  Years hence, fools will still be coming out the woodwork to recount the carnage in Colorado's emergency rooms on the first day of legalization as thirty-seven lost their lives to cannabis.

DontBlowBHO
DontBlowBHO

The best part of this story is that this incompetent moron actually 'testified in front of the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee' about it. These guys will literally believe ANYTHING that they are told that is negative and related to the Drug War. Then again, the police force doesn't hire many 'free-thinkers' now-a-days....They are looking for the dumbest order-following goons that they can find. As evidenced here.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase  ... Puerile Pot Punks Pissing on their own Petulant Parade.


How many times have BigAlcohol or BigTobacco run "satires" about how many DEATHS are caused by their industry?


Stupid Stoners are as Stupid Stoners do !!



FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed

Like Jared Polis falsely testilying in front of congress that Betsy Ross made the first U.S. flag out of hemp.

How many times have clueless stoners spewed that lie?

redsoxfan
redsoxfan

You should flip to the next day on your word of the day calender. You have over used the P's,again. Your ignorance makes me laugh.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...