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A satire story said that Jesse Pinkman (a character from Breaking Bad played by Aaron Paul, above) died from marijuana in Colorado. (Credit: YouTube, "amc," screenshot)

Yet again satire site The Daily Currant duped the Internet with a fake story claiming 37 people in Colorado died from marijuana the first day it was legal.

The Daily Currant’s Jan. 2 story was titled  “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization.” The story in part said:

“According to a report in the Rocky Mountain News, 37 people were killed across the state on Jan. 1, 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 Daily Currant satire story also quoted a doctor about the marijuana deaths. The name given for that doctor? Dr. Jack Shepard — one of the main characters from ABC’s Lost, played by actor Matthew Fox.

However, the hospital where The Daily Currant said Shepard worked — St. Luke’s Medical Center — is real and even had to issue a statement to bust the story as a hoax, the Denver Channel reported.  St. Luke’s statement, posted on its Facebook, read:

“Statement on “The Daily Currant” Fictitious Story:

“Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center has been the victim of a satiric, hoax story posted today on ‘The Daily Currant,’ an online satirical newspaper.

“We are clarifying for anyone who has read this story that there is no such doctor as ‘Jack Shepard’ on our medical staff and that there have been no deaths due to marijuana at our hospital. The article is a completely fabricated work of fiction created by ‘The Daily Currant.’

“This online publication’s website states that ‘Our stories are purely fictional….they are meant to address real-world issues through satire.” We regret any confusion or concern that this fictitious posting may have caused.'”

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Another tip The Daily Currant story was fake? The story “reported” that one of the marijuana victims was a “29-year-old Jesse Bruce Pinkman, a former methamphetamine dealer from Albuquerque who had recently moved to Boulder to establish a legal marijuana dispensary,” the UK Independent pointed out.

Jesse Pinkman is one of the main characters (and Walter White’s partner in making and distributing meth) in AMC’s show Breaking Bad, which was set in Albuquerque.

Ghana news site Spy Ghana was hoaxed by the fake story, but as of Jan. 4 had unpublished its report from its website. A link to the story now goes to an error page.

Spy Ghana had republished in full The Daily Currant story. The story lists The Daily Currant as “source” at the bottom of the report but its byline said the article was “By Ghana News.”  iMediaEthics is writing to Spy Ghana for a proper correction of its error.

See below a screenshot of the article on Spy Ghana’s website.

A screenshot of the now-unpublished article on Spy Ghana’s website.


Last year, SpyGhana plagiarized from and was hoaxed by a UK satire site called News Biscuit.  SpyGhana lifted from News Biscuit’s story claiming that Mike Tyson had a sex change. For more on that case, check out iMediaEthics’ report.

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Hoax alert! Jesse Pinkman & 36 Others not Killed from Marijuana, And Lost’s Jack Shepard isn’t the Doctor

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