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There is a healthy debate in Maryland right now about the prospect of following Colorado and Washington's lead in legalizing marijuana. Some Maryland law enforcement officials are against the proposal, including the Annapolis police chief who showed up at the hearing to vocalize his opposition:
Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop came prepared when he testified before a Maryland state Senate panel on Tuesday about the perils of legalizing marijuana.

In researching his testimony against two bills before the Judicial Proceedings Committee, Pristoop said, he had found an article to illustrate the risks of legalization: 37 people in Colorado had overdosed on the very day that state legalized pot, he said.

“When he said it, everyone in the room dropped their laptops,” Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery) said in an e-mail.

Trouble is, the facts were about as close to the truth as oregano is to pot. After googling on his laptop, Raskin advised the chief that the Colorado overdose story, despite its deadpan delivery, had been made up for laughs by The Daily Currant, an online comedy magazine.

Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop isn't the first to fall for the ridiculous articles on The Daily Currant. But 37 deaths due to marijuana on the first day it was legal in Colorado? You'd think they might've done a wee bit more research before presenting that nonsense as fact at a public hearing. For his part, he's apologized for falling for the hoax, but it speaks volumes that a police chief from a large city has to point to this kind of evidence to keep his cash cow from becoming legal.

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:32 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform, Maryland Kos, and Daily Kos.

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