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Police Chief Discusses Marijuana Deaths, Cites Humor Website

We’ve all fallen victim to fake internet news stories. We’ll post them to our Facebook walls, only to have our dearest friends make fun of us for being so gullible. But that’s about the worst thing we ever have to deal with. Sadly, for some people, these fake news stories get a little too real. This past week, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop was testifying about the dangers of smoking marijuana to the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee. To help his argument, Pristoop mentioned the 37 deaths that occurred on the first day of legalization in Colorado. You know, the deaths that occurred in that fake story from that humor website? Fortunately, the chief was stopped by committee members, who informed him that he was quoting an urban legend. Oh man, how embarrassing. That’s sort of like when you have to stop your drunk buddy from trying to make number two in a urinal.

It’s one thing when average people fall victim to internet hoaxes. We’re not supposed to be suspicious of everything. But you’d think a police chief would have done a little more fact finding and detective work to determine the credibility of a source. Also, the Colorado marijuana death story isn’t new. There’s only a small window of days when a hoax is so new that no one knows if it’s true or not. Once the internet figures out something is false, it spreads through social media like wild fire. And you no longer have an excuse to say you didn’t know any better. In fact, there’s really only two valid reasons why the Chief would get bamboozled by this well known prank. One: if the chief had been in a coma until a few days ago, then we could let him off the hook. Two: if he was really high when he was talking to the committee, then we could cut him some slack. Oh well, no one’s perfect. And we’re all susceptible to pranks. Remember this from a few months ago?

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