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Half Baked

Claim:   Dozens of people died of marijuana overdoses on the day recreational use became legal in Colorado.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2014]

Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization? Any truth to this?

Origins:   On 2 January 2014, the Daily Currant published an article positing that over three dozen people had died of marijuana overdoses on 1 January 2014, the day recreational use became legal in Colorado:
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 use. Several more are clinging onto life in local emergency rooms and are not expected to survive.

"It's complete chaos here," says Dr. Jack Shepard, chef of surgery at St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, "I've put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute.

"When was the last time you heard of someone overdosing on beer? All these pro-marijuana groups should be ashamed of themselves. The victims' blood is on their hands."
By the end of the day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a bit of political humor from the Daily Currant spoofing the controversy over the issue of the legalized recreational marijuana use. (A "marijuana overdose" is virtually a medical impossibility.)

As noted in the Daily Currant's "About" page, that web site deals strictly in satire:
The Daily Currant is an English language online satirical newspaper that covers global politics, business, technology, entertainment, science, health and media.

Q. Are your news stories real?

A. No. Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.
Last updated:   2 January 2014

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