Fake News Site Spreads Deadly Cannabis Overdose Story

No, nobody in Boston died from injecting cannabis today.

The latest sad example of people believing bullshit they read on the internet occurred today after a website called The American Tribune reported “the first recorded marijuana overdose” occurred in Massachusetts on the same day the U.S. state officially legalized recreational cannabis use.

The unattributed post claimed:

“Recreational marijuana has only been legal in Massachusetts for two hours, and we are now already seeing what looks like the first recorded marijuana overdose since legalization.

The victim, a 24-year-old male, was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after injecting nearly 5 grams of concentrated cannabis oil. This is the equivalent of around 50 marijuana cigarettes, known as “joints”. He was showing signs of dehydration and had been reportedly hallucinating before losing consciousness at 12:54 AM EST.

The victim’s family prefers to remain anonymous at the moment as they process this difficult news.”

The hoax was quickly debunked by Snopes but the story had already gained traction on Facebook. In the Comments section, gullible readers were quick to weigh in.

“If anyone else tries to inject insane quantities of cannabis oil, I hope they die,” wrote Najeeb Al-Shabibi. “It’s better for the genepool.” For emphasis, Al-Shabibi then added #legalisationisgoodforthegenepool despite hashtags not being a thing on Facebook.

Townsville, Pennsylvania resident Samyar Vahid went a step further in a since-deleted post, saying: “The first step to becoming a satanic nation is letting Him grow his evil crops here. WE NEED TO RE CRIMINALISE SATAN’S WEED.”

The About page linked in The American Tribune’s footer states: “The American Tribune provides a satirical view of current events. Our articles should be taken with a grain of salt. Our articles are a parody of the terrible news coverage in 2016 and beyond.”

Other recent story topics include a Buzzfeed reporter being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and Donald Trump considering Kanye West for a cabinet position.

Twitter: @flematic