Cannabis hoax becomes Facebook meme

Posted on December 21st, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchNumerous "friends" have posted to my Facebook page a Dec. 19 story from a website with the tellingly stupid name Just Paste It entitled "Sweden legalizes and regulates cannabis." There's even a quote from an apparently non-existent Swedish official, "Jonas Grönhög," who says "We don't want to make the same mistakes which the USA has done, we do not want to be prohibitionists because the war on drugs has been lost long ago." Alas, Sweden has done no such thing. Tip of the hat to the good folks at the Toke of the Town blog for calling out the hoax.

They write:

 [T]he story, which linked to no confirming sources and listed as its source "420 Dagbladet, Stockholm, December 19, 2011," could not be confirmed anywhere else and seems to have no validity.

 "420 Dagbladet," which would mean "420 Daily Newspaper," doesn't even appear to exist, either as a website or as a print publication.

 NORML's page on European marijuana laws states (read it and weep):

All drug use, possession, acquisition, and trafficking are crimes and are punishable under Swedish law. Setting up a contact between a dealer and consumer is also punishable by law. The police also hold the right to confiscate any articles used for drug abuse or manufacture (paraphernalia). Crimes are divided into three degrees: minor, simple, and aggravated. Minor offenses carry a penalty of up to six months imprisonment; simple offenses up to three years, and aggravated at least two years and up to ten years in prison. The quantity and type of drug involved, rather than the activity, determines the grading of the offense.

Cannabis use is explicitly forbidden in Sweden. Offenses are defined according to the amount involved and punishable by fine. In some cases the fine can be exchanged for counseling.

So all you people who are gleefully posting and forwarding this story—did you ever think to do a little Googling to check out its authenticity? This says everything about what is wrong with the contemporary cyber culture. Just paste it! Fact-checking optional!

Photo by Hammer51012  



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