Possibly thousands of netizens are believing hoax articles circulating on internet that legalized marijuana overdose killed 37 people in the state of Colorado on the opening day of the state-licensed dispensaries.
One of the sites, The Daily Current, has been circulating such an article dated 2 January with many of its readers accepting the fake story as true without realizing the portal being a news satire website.
"Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalize recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses. According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, 37 people were killed across the state on January 1st, the first day the drug became legal for all adults to purchase. Several more are clinging onto life in local emergency rooms and are not expected to survive."
The site even quoted a fake chief surgeon at St Luke's Medical Center in Colorado capital Denver saying victims, including college students, had witnessed cardiac arrests, hypospadias, acquired trimethylaminuria and multiple organ failures.
The satirical news website even has false quotes from people and fake alcohol company condemning marijuana legalization. Within hours of the fake story being published online, its Facebook page received more than 21, 000 likes.
The first set of licensed marijuana dispensaries were opened for sale in Colorado on 1 January, with people from far-off states waiting in long queues.
Below are some of the reactions to the fake news
@jjustbreanna: My dad was convinced that you can overdose on marijuana. My parents even believed the hoax that 37 people died from it in Colorado.
@jx_tg 3h: My mom just showed me an article from a satirical news blog saying that 37 people have died from marijuana overdose since legalization
@AngelaRossillo: I saw this coming a mile away. As you all know I do not follow MSM, and don't necessarily believe THIS articl
@BryanTann: So do we blame pot, or do we blame the users? Do you blame alcohol for alcohol related deaths including DUI, or..