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Annapolis police chief apologizes for citing hoax story in testimony against marijuana legalization
Capital Gazette ^ | 02/25/2014

Posted on 02/26/2014 7:08:22 AM PST by Wolfie

Annapolis police chief apologizes for citing hoax story in testimony against marijuana legalization

Testifying against bills proposed to legalize and decriminalize marijuana in the state, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop cited a hoax story that claimed 37 people had died the first day marijuana was legalized in Colorado.

"The first day of legalization, that's when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana," Pristoop testified at Tuesday's Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearing. "I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths."

But Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, who has proposed a bill that would legalize, regulate and tax the drug, immediately fact-checked Pristoop.

"Unless you have some other source for this, I'm afraid I've got to spoil the party here," Raskin said. "Your assertion that 37 people died of a marijuana overdose in Colorado was a hoax on the DailyCurrant and the Comedy Central website."

Indeed, Pristoop was apparently referring to a story by the satirical website DailyCurrant.com, which reportedly fooled some people with the headline "Marijuana overdoses kill 37 in Colorado on first day of legalization." Pristoop backtracked after Raskin spoke.

"If it was a misquote, then I'll stand behind the mistake," Pristoop said. "But I'm holding on to information I was provided."

Reached by phone after he testified, Pristoop apologized. "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.”

Pristoop later explained himself in a statement posted on the Annapolis Police Department's Facebook page. Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides said he remains confident in Pristoop, whom he believed erred in his testimony. Pantelides said he had not heard the police chief's remarks before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and would call Pristoop in the morning for more information.

One of Pristoop's main responsibilities as chief is attempting to stem heroin use in Annapolis, the mayor said.

Six fatal heroin overdoses were reported by Annapolis police in 2013, up from two in 2012. Anne Arundel County police have also cracked down in recent weeks on heroin possession in Annapolis-area hotel rooms. Pristoop's focus on heroin enforcement may have influenced his comments in front of the Maryland General Assembly, Pantelides said.

"Clearly when you're constantly dealing with a drug where people overdose, it's probably in your head to think 'overdoses, drugs,'" he said. "Again, it could have just been a slip of he said something he shouldn't have." The city has no plans to change its enforcement of marijuana laws, Pantelides said.

Alderman Fred Paone, a member of the Annapolis City Council's Public Safety Committee, said he had not read the hoax article or Pristoop's comments, but believed the police chief's remarks were likely "a good-faith mistake."

"The guy is doing his job and, frankly, you get kind of intense when you're in the middle of something," Paone, R-Ward 2, said.

Pristoop was named chief of the Annapolis Police Department in 2008. He makes $147,515.

The story Pristoop cited quoted a fake "Dr. Jack Shepard," claiming he was "chief of surgery at St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver."

"It's complete chaos here," the fake doctor ranted. "I've put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute." While lawmakers differed on whether the state's marijuana laws should be loosened, most agreed Tuesday that overdoses weren't an issue.

"The only person I've ever seen overdose on marijuana had a big snack and fell asleep," said Sen. Nancy Jacobs, R-Harford.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Maryland
KEYWORDS: apology; leo; policechief; potheads; wod

1 posted on 02/26/2014 7:08:22 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
"I tried really hard to present verified facts".

No, you did not.

2 posted on 02/26/2014 7:09:58 AM PST by gdani
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To: Wolfie
I'll stand behind the mistake

Sounds like something someone high on pot would say.

3 posted on 02/26/2014 7:10:51 AM PST by DManA
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To: Wolfie

cops lie all the time, they wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the ass


4 posted on 02/26/2014 7:24:47 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Wolfie
"...Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana,"

Well, if this is true, it's alarming. I've never heard of anybody dying from an overdose of marijuana before. If they had 37 deaths (the first I've ever heard about) in one day, can you imagine how many people are dying every day from this menace?

No wonder the population of places like Mexico and Jamaica are going extinct!

5 posted on 02/26/2014 7:25:28 AM PST by Kenton
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To: Kenton
Well, if this is true, it's alarming. I've never heard of anybody dying from an overdose of marijuana before. If they had 37 deaths (the first I've ever heard about) in one day, can you imagine how many people are dying every day from this menace?

Nice try, Chief Pristoop.

6 posted on 02/26/2014 7:27:19 AM PST by gdani
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To: Wolfie

Maryland is a huge dump - passing in school now lowered to a score of 50 and now drugs in the system.

It is really going to suck.


7 posted on 02/26/2014 7:28:03 AM PST by edcoil ( "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." - Blaise Pascal)
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To: Wolfie

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/02/24/new-cdot-campaign-targets-stoned-drivers/

New CDOT Campaign Targets Stoned Drivers


8 posted on 02/26/2014 7:28:30 AM PST by ltc8k6
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To: Kenton
No wonder the population of places like Mexico and Jamaica are going extinct!

You must get your facts from the same sources as Police Chief Dumbass. In fact: The birth rate per thousand people in both Jamaica and Mexico far exceeds the birthrate in the United States; the death rate in these countries is not only lower than in the United States, but significantly lower than the birth rate; and the life expectancy at birth in Jamaica and Mexico is only slightly lower than in the United States. In short, the populations of these countries are not "going extinct," but growing larger.

9 posted on 02/26/2014 7:51:00 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Wolfie

The drug warriors will say or do anything to keep the ‘war-on-drugs’ gravy train going. Lot’s of DEA and police dept revenue at stake here.


10 posted on 02/26/2014 8:18:15 AM PST by slumber1 (Moderation is overrated)
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To: Wolfie

Wow, he earns about $147K too much for his level of competence.


11 posted on 02/26/2014 8:25:15 AM PST by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: Wolfie
"I remember the first day it was decriminalized there were 37 deaths."

"Seared into my memory..."

12 posted on 02/26/2014 8:26:09 AM PST by jiggyboy
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To: Labyrinthos

His comment was made tongue in check. The poster assumes a person knows those populations aren’t going extinct.


13 posted on 02/26/2014 8:30:20 AM PST by andyk (I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.)
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To: Wolfie

Typical.


14 posted on 02/26/2014 8:52:37 AM PST by TBP (Obama lies, Granny dies.)
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To: gdani; Labyrinthos
You must get your facts from the same sources as Police Chief Dumbass.

Nice try, Chief Pristoop.

Sorry guys, I wasn't being serious, I figured that part about Mexico and Jamaica going extinct would tip you off to that. I guess sometimes sarcasm should be more obvious.

Read it again, you might catch it this time.

15 posted on 02/26/2014 8:53:58 AM PST by Kenton
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To: andyk

I assumed so at first, but one really can’t be sure without the “sarcasm tag.”


16 posted on 02/26/2014 8:54:11 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Kenton

See post 16. My apologies.


17 posted on 02/26/2014 8:56:54 AM PST by Labyrinthos
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To: Labyrinthos

LOL... no problem. If I’d said that to you in person, you’d probably have laughed at it, but that doesn’t always translate well into Internet-speak.


18 posted on 02/26/2014 8:59:35 AM PST by Kenton
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To: Wolfie
Meanwhile, business is booming! =>

_______________________________________________________________

Pueblo County first Colorado county to report marijuana taxes

February 25, 2014

DENVER — A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry.

Pueblo County finance authorities announced Monday that its two shops had about $1 million in total sales in January, producing about $56,000 in local sales taxes.

http://gazette.com/pueblo-county-first-colorado-county-to-report-marijuana- taxes/article/1515407

___________________________________________________________

Pueblo County has a population 160,000.

19 posted on 02/26/2014 9:43:20 AM PST by Ken H (What happens on the internet, stays on the internet.)
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To: Wolfie; Abundy; Albion Wilde; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; bayliving; BFM; Bigg Red; ...

Maryland “Freak State” PING!


20 posted on 02/26/2014 9:20:13 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (The PASSING LANE is for PASSING, not DAWDLING)
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To: Ken H
Filthy stoners. Here's a pic of those grungy types at a Denver cannabis dinner event. What a motley crew.


21 posted on 02/27/2014 4:29:26 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Kenton

It’s getting hard to keep up in this formerly great nation, where conservatives’ sarcasm and hyperbole is coming true every day.


22 posted on 02/27/2014 7:55:50 AM PST by Albion Wilde (The less a man knows, the more certain he is that he knows it all.)
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