The “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization” satire article fooled some people who believed it was real.
“For those of you who think marijuana is beneficial. Sorry, you were saying???” said one Twitter user, for example.
“Don’t Toke too much!” said another.
The article in question comes from the Daily Currant, a satire website similar to the Onion–but much lesser known.
Marijuana was recently legalized in Colorado, and the first day to buy legally was January 1.
The story claims that 37 people were killed across Colorado from overdosing on marijuana, and shows a picture of a male lying on the ground, possibly dead.
However, the story starts off by citing the Rocky Mountain News, a media outlet that is no longer in business.
It also cites Dr. Jack Shepard, the “chef of surgery” at a medical center in Denver. Shepard later became a chief of surgery after the website updated the amusing typo.
Shepard is quoted as saying:
“We are seeing cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria and multiple organ failures. 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?”
The satire article also says that one of those who died was Jesse Pinkman, taking the name and story–a meth dealer from New Mexico–from the popular show “Breaking Bad.”
The article has been liked over 1.3 million times on Facebook.
But it’s not true. No one died from overdosing on marijuana, because it’s impossible.
“Lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur,” according to a report from the National Cancer Institute. Cannabis is another name for marijuana, and also refers to hemp, the male version of pot.
Critics do say that it’s people sometimes experience panic attacks or have psychotic reactions after taking marijuana, but these types of experiences rarely lead to death.