Intellihub – by John Vibes
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND (INTELLIHUB) — The first week marijuana was legalized in Colorado, a joke article by the website The Daily Currant claiming that 37 people died on the first day, went viral on social media sites.
The report was of course false, as The Daily Currant is a website much like “The Onion”that posts fake news stories that are satirical and meant to be funny. Even though the content of these articles are obviously false, many times people believe them and circulate them as truth because they don’t do enough research.
This false legalization article went viral, partly because some people thought it was funny, and partly because some people actually believed it. Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop was one of those people.
“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.”
Surprisingly, he was quickly corrected by Sen. Jamie Raskin, who informed him that his source was actually a joke.
“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.”
Later he realized his mistake.
“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.
John Vibes is an investigative journalist, staff writer and editor for Intellihub News where this article originally appeared. He is also the author of an 87 chapter e-book entitled “Alchemy of this Modern Renaissance” and is an artist with an established record label. You can find him on his Facebook.
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