If you are a public affairs representative looking for a job, be on the lookout for an opening that may be occurring in the Maryland state capital. Whoever was responsible for giving Annapolis police chief the "straight skinny" on the 37 people who died of marijuana overdoses on the first day of that drug's legal use in Colorado may be sharpening up the ol' resume as we speak.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Chief Michael Pristoop went before the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee, today (Feb. 25) to oppose the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. He began to relate a story he had read online on this news site called "The Daily Currant" about how 37 people died of marijuana overdoses on the very first day the drug was legal for recreational use. But his testimony was stopped by those on the committee who recognized the error.
The Capital Gazette reported it like this:
"The first day of legalization, that's when Colorado experienced 37 deaths that day from overdose on marijuana," Pristoop said in testimony 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."
The Daily Currant, like The Onion, is a satirical website.
But the chief did not make a complete fool of himself. There were stories right there on the front page of the Currant that he did not refer to in his anti-pot testimony.
He said nothing about President Obama nominating Oprah as ambassador to Russia.
There was nary a mention in the Chief's testimony about Russia awarding Rick Santorum an honorary gold medal.
As much as the words may have been leaping from his lips, he said not a word about the man responsible for the malfunctioning ring in the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics being found dead in his hotel room.
Chief Pristoop managed to get through his testimony without revealing the shocking truth about Sochi hotel rooms being used for prisoners now that the athletes are gone.
And as much as he may or may not agree with her, the Chief was silent on the subject of Ann Coulter declaring Coca Cola should be tried for treason for its Super Bowl commercial in which America the Beautiful was sung in multiple languages.
So, when one thinks of how bad a day the Annapolis Police Chief had, just imagine. It could have been much, much worse.
"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," the chief said in a statement. "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."
The next Public Affairs guy or gal at the Annapolis Police Department might want to keep a file on these sites.