By Erica Abbott
GAD-BM / Pixabay
Reports that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe passed a law legalizing recreational and medical marijuana in the state are false. While marijuana is still illegal in Virginia, state officials will be discussing the possibility of marijuana decriminalization—the outcome of which could lead to legislation next year.
According to Hoax Alert, the fake claim originated on React365, a prank news website that allows users to trick their friends by creating hoaxes. The article, which was allegedly shared thousands of times, claimed that the law legalizing marijuana would take effect next month for those in Virginia. It purported:
Govenor Terry McAuliffe passed a law legalizing the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana for the state of Virginia
As of November, first 2017 marijuana will be legal
Overall support for legalize marijuana has hit 64 30 states in the district of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana
I knew Gallup poll released earlier this month shows that a record high percentage of Americans now support legalizing marijuana
For the first time immaturity of Republicans are in favor of legalizing marijuana as well
The report is, of course, entirely fabricated. If the poor grammar and typo-laden story were not enough to indicate that it was a hoax (despite referencing a real Gallup poll), React365’s disclaimer clearly states that articles should not be taken seriously:
This website is an entertainment website, news are created by users. These are humourous news, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.
Hoaxes created on React365 often end up attracting a lot of attention because they look genuine when shared on social media. Users simply produce a fake title, write a short description and select a relevant image to create a prank, which is meant to trick family and friends. Convincing hoaxes, however, often end of going viral given their deceptive nature. A similar hoax article that was published earlier this year claimed that Texas legalized marijuana. That prank was debunked in April.
Currently, 29 states and Washington D.C. have laws legalizing marijuana in some form, according to Governing.com. Neither Virginia nor Texas have any such legalization laws at this time.
Here are some examples of people sharing the hoax story on social media:
Social Media Shares Fake Story about Marijuana Legalization In Virginia
Marijuana legalized in VA https://t.co/dLGkhWpPSj
— Vanessa White (@Kiss_with_love) October 30, 2017
Marijuana legalized in VA https://t.co/oVQ0KVSJS4
— ghettocowboy (@chrisjones0477) October 30, 2017
Have you seen the hoax story about Virginia legalizing marijuana circulating social media? What are your thoughts on prank news websites? Sound off in the comments section below!
Source:: Business 2 Community