Testifying against marijuana legalization before the Maryland legislature today, Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop warned of the potentially lethal consequences. “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.”
This man, Michael A. Pristoop, is the Police Chief of Annapolis, Maryland. He is clearly in favor of prohibition. Yet, he knows very little about the very drug he wants to prohibit. He is so out of tune, in fact, that he was unable to spot a parody in The Daily Currant.
Is this really the type of person who is qualified not only to enforce, but also to lead law enforcement and prohibition efforts? This is a man who got up in front of the Maryland State Senate and cited a fake story from a fake newspaper, in order to push a dangerous agenda that has ruined the lives of countless individuals.
The Annapolis Police Department website says:
We are committed to nurturing the public trust by maintaining professionalism in every facet of our operations and demanding the highest levels of personal and professional integrity.
Pristoop did apologize for the gaffe, although he also said it “did not take away from the other facts.” Perhaps this is the “highest level” of integrity one can hope for. Is this really professional, though?
Imagine if he were not a police officer. Let’s say he worked in a different professional field, such as medicine. Maybe he would be a heart surgeon or the director of a hospital. He stands up in front of a patient to refuse a new drug, citing a fake story. Perhaps he recommends a new hospital policy based on a fake story. While funny on the surface, this type of gaffe could end his career. What if he killed somebody? What if he were sued? What if he cost the hospital tens of thousands of dollars?
At the very least nobody would forget it. They would lose respect for him, question his competence and wonder if he was truly fit to work.
If he were not a member of a powerful union, if he did not have a secure government contract, would he be able to keep his job? If it were fire-at-will — if he were your employee — would you let his association with your company ruin your brand?