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Marijuana overdose hoax: Site convincingly misleads readers on pot deaths

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A marijuana overdose hoax claiming 37 people were killed on the first day pot was legalized in Colorado is making people do double takes on the headline. Is that really true? ABC7 News in Denver reports Jan. 3 that a satrical website managed to fool a lot of people, but not everyone.

The site,, used a fake doctor and titled the piece: "Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization January 2nd, 2014." It read that Colorado the legalization of pot due to "dozens" of deaths because of overdoses. The site used an old newspaper in Denver as their source. The Rocky Mountain News went out of circulation in 2009.

Daily Currant website states in their About section that their stories are "purely fictional," but "address real-world issues through satire" of events happening in the world today

"Dr. Jack Shepard," was the name of the fake doctor used in the marijuana overdose hoax. He was supposedly "chief of surgery at St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver."

"It's complete chaos here," Dr. Shepard said in the fake story. "I've put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute."

"We are seeing cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria and multiple organ failures," the doctor raved. "By next week the death toll could go as high as 200, maybe 300. Someone needs to step in and stop this madness. My god, why did we legalize marijuana? What were we thinking?"

Read more about this story here.

A lot of people were led to believe that 37 people actually died from an overdose of pot. The legalization of the substance for recreational use has been a hot headline since the new year began.

Did you believe the marijuana overdose hoax when you heard about it?



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