Citing Joke, Annapolis Police Chief Testifies That Pot Killed 37 People on the First Day of Legalization in Colorado

Annapolis Police DepartmentAnnapolis Police DepartmentTestifying against marijuana legalization before the Maryland legislature today, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop warned of the potentially lethal consequences. "The first day of legalization, that's when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana," Pristoop told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. "I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths."

As Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery) quickly pointed out, what Pristoop actually remembered was a joke story at The Daily Currant headlined "Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado on First Day of Legalization." The article included a quote from "Peter Swindon, president and CEO of local brewer MolsonCoors," who supposedly said: "We told everyone this would happen. Marijuana is a deadly hardcore drug that causes addiction and destroys lives. When was the last time you heard of someone overdosing on beer? All these pro-marijuana groups should be ashamed of themselves. The victims' blood is on their hands."

Pristoop seemed taken aback that something he had seen in print might not be the literal truth. "If it was a misquote," he told Raskin, "then I'll stand behind the mistake. But I'm holding on to information I was provided."

Addendum: Waldemar Ingdahl reminds me that Sweden's justice minister, Beatrice Ask, fell for the same satire, although later she claimed she hadn't. At least Pristoop stands behind his mistake. 

Addendum II: Pristoop not only got his information about marijuana from The Daily Currant; he relied on the fictional brewer Peter Swindon for assurances about the hazards of alcohol. "No one's overdosing on beer," he told legislators.

[Thanks to Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority for the tip.]

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  • Sam Grove||

    Seems he has the intellectual chops to be a cop.

  • Mainer2||

    Pristoop ? More like Pisspoop, amirite ?


  • Raymond Luxury Yach-t||


  • SutureSelf||

    stirPoop, if we want to get all anagrammy.

  • Rich||

    "If it was a misquote," he told Raskin, "then I'll stand behind the mistake.

    "However, if it was a mistake then I'll stand behind the misquote."

  • ||

    I don't know what it means to "stand behind the mistake", but I suspect that the police do it a lot.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    you know what frosts my cookies about this? this guy has two jobs - management and general criminal studies - and he can't get either right and he probably still gets six figures.

  • Sudden||

    He makes $147,515 annually (last line of the article cited).

    Let the hate course through your veins

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    holy shitsnacks this guy is an *attorney* and he's still dumb as hell:

  • ||

    Breathe, Maréchal Kochtopus, breathe! And stop talking about snacks.

  • Sidd Finch||


  • Rich||

    Almost every member of the Department,
    sworn and civilian, contributed to this

    I suppose the Chief fired the members who did not contribute.

  • ||

    It's Onion stories all the way down.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I will say I am not sure it is possible to overdose on *beer*.

  • SIV||

    Where'd ya go to college, Brigham Young?

  • UnCivilServant||

    It's the stomach volume to alcohol content ratio. Quite often, there's just not enough room.

  • niobiumstudio||

    Puke and Rally my friend... When you run out of room, just make some more.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Put it in your butt.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    It is possible. But it takes a real sustained effort. One fill-up probably won't do it for most people with normal alcohol tolerance.

  • JeremyR||

    It's the ratchet effect. People believe what they hear first, even if it's not actually true.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    By quoting the officer, Jacob cited a joke for citing a joke.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ...oy. Between this and the muffin top rap, I think we're all maxed out on Bad Progressive Rapping.

  • Sidd Finch||

    She's the parent every child swore they'd never become.

  • Loki||

    And apparently she's thinks she's everyone's mom.

  • dinkster||

    There is a joke about fucking your mom somewhere there.

  • ATXChappy||

    HaHaHa. This is hilarious! There is a bonus quote in the original article. "I believed at the time that was accurate. But I don't think it takes away from the other facts we presented.." So, tell me how well did you check those "other facts"?

  • MWG||

    O dear lord, let there be video of this.

  • Dweebston||

    "After conducting additional research, it appears that was not accurate at all," Pristoop said. “I believed at the time that was accurate. But I don't think it takes away from the other facts we presented.. I'm guilty of being a human being. I tried really hard to present verified facts.”

    To err is human, Chief Pristoop. To believe such a facially incorrect figure as this is confirmation bias.

    To then present that joke figure to Congress is attributable to nothing less than plumbing the dismal depths of stupidity.

  • gaoxiaen||

    People will be referencing this "fact" for the next couple of decades, like the fake "girl lost her vision from staring at the sun while on LSD".

  • Loki||

    Next think you know he'll be citing data from infographics on the onion. What a dipshit, he probably thinks you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true.

  • Rich||

    you can't put anything on the internet that isn't true.

    Just a matter of time, Loki.

  • Pulseguy||

    More likely just a matter of time before you can't put anything on the internet that is not deemed to be true by those who know what it is we all should be allowed to know.

    He should learn what I've learned over the years. Everything is a lie.

  • Gene||

    Peak derp is getting near.

  • Anomalous||

    Wrong. The supply is limitless.

  • Sudden||

    Scientists lied to us. They said that hydrogen was the most common element in the universe. Turns out it is derp.

  • Rich||

  • Aresen||

    Dibs on the right to tell Chief Michael Pristoop about Santa Claus.

  • ||

    I know it's a variation on their formula, but I had to submit this to Literally Unbelievable.

  • Rich||

    Great stuff, Brian. Thanks! 8-)

  • Suellington||


  • flye||

    That was excellent. One of the comments on a story there will be my new go-to:

    "The land of the free they call it!"

  • Paul.||

    I stand behind every one of my mistakes. Way behind.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Imagine what his arrest reports look like.

  • RishJoMo||

    lol, I gotta a feeling that dude burns a big fat one every night!

  • Suellington||

    Luckily he won't stand in front of his mistake and block it from view.

  • juris imprudent||

    Procedures were followed, mistakes were stood behind.

  • Ross Smith||

    The stupid is so intense here, it burns.

  • wwhorton||

    Next time someone tells you that the only people who should have access to handguns are law enforcement officers, they're actually telling you that Chief Wigham here has more common sense, responsibility, and is a more capable person than you or even themselves.

  • egnilk66||

    The video will be in here somewhere...

  • egnilk66||

    Does anyone have any idea which committee he spoke to? The video must be here.

  • Colorado Weed Company||

    Drugs are bad. Mmmk?

  • John C. Randolph||

    Seems to me that when someone on the taxpayers' teat demonstrates in public that he's too goddamned stupid to do his job, common decency would demand that he resign.


  • cosmo kramer||

    He has no honor.

  • cosmo kramer||

    Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop is a prime example of the total ignorance in the upper reaches of the nations police departments.
    Next time you think they don't actually believe that bullshit, think again.


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