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No, There Were Not 37 Marijuana Overdose Deaths in Colorado

No, There Were Not 37 Marijuana Overdose Deaths in Colorado

In "I can't believe I have to write an article about this" news, last week a satire website similar to The Onion fooled people with a fake story about how Colorado's newly legal market resulted in 37 deaths from cannabis overdose. The site, called Daily Currant, stated, "Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalize recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses." The article then cited a quote from "Dr. Jack Shepard," who was "chief of surgery at St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver" and totally not the protagonist (down to the profession) of the ABC series Lost

The spoof story spread like wildfire, and even a few of my friends on Facebook shared the article, thinking it was legit. So here's a friendly reminder for you: there have been precisely zero deaths in the history of the world attributed to cannabis overdose. Sure, you can ingest too much marijuana, but your symptoms are likely to subside after a few hours and you'll emerge with nothing more than some grogginess and a slight hangover. Cannabis certainly does not cause "cardiac arrests," "hypospadias," (a birth defect pertaining to the penis), "acquired trimethylaminuria" (a genetic disease that causes an offensive body odor), or "multiple organ failures." 

So, to recap:

  1. There were no cannabis overdose deaths in Colorado last week; you can't even die from a cannabis overdose.
  2. Don't believe everything you read -- at least check legit news sources to see if they're reporting the same thing.
  3. Educate your friends who have been duped by this nonsense article. 

And as for the Daily Currant, if you were going for satire, you were a little too subtle in your execution. Read some Onion archives and learn from the masters.