While debating a very mild medical marijuana bill proposed in Louisiana congress, one lawmaker took it upon herself to rally against the measure by citing an obviously untrue report of dozens of fatal cannabis overdoses in Colorado.
House Bill 579 would extend the use of CBD oil to patients suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, severe muscle spasms and glaucoma, a pretty minor expansion of existing MMJ laws in the state. But that didn’t stop Rep. Dodie Horton from getting downright operatic in her condemnation of the bill, and maybe a little carried away.
While railing against the provision, Horton cited a 2014 article from the Daily Currant which reported 37 deadly cannabis overdoses on the first day of legalization in Colorado. “Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalise recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses,” the article reads.
There are a couple of indications that this article is not reliable as fact. There is, for one, the fact that it’s common knowledge that cannabis does not cause fatal overdoses, much less dozens in a single day. There’s the somewhat ludicrous description of the cannabis epidemic as described by the doctor in the article: “It’s complete chaos here… I’ve put five college students in body bags since breakfast and more are arriving every minute.” There’s the fact that the doctor quoted in the article is Dr. Jack Shephard, the fictional character from the TV show Lost. There’s the fact that the Daily Currant is a news source named after a fruit and that the website contains other obviously satirical articles such as one headlined “Crowd Cheers as Trump Executes Muslim Child at Florida Rally.”
And there is also the fact that this article previously caused a bunch of people who don’t fact check to cite the article, so many that the “hoax” was covered in major outlets such as the Huffington Post.
It was not long before Horton was called out for the fakie-ness of her evidence. Elizabeth Crisp, reporter from The Advocate, tweeted on Thursday: “Um. Pretty sure @repdodiehorton just cited the Daily Currant, which is a satirical publication, in arguing against medical marijuana. #lalege #lagov.”
Horton responded later that day by tweeting: I was given this info from a so-called “ Trusted” source but now know that the story was not credible! What is fact is the number of car wrecks as a direct result of marijuana use in Colorado is up by 48%. With several ending in deaths. Need the experts/FDA to approve usage/First.”
Before Crisp could respond that that statistic is not factual either, Horton blocked Crisp. Since then, according to Crisp’s Twitter page, Horton has unblocked her and sincerely apologized in person for using an unchecked source. HB 579 was voted to move on to the senate. Another MMJ bill, one which would have allowed prescriptions for children with autism, died in the House the same day.
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