It's been nearly two years since Colorado legalized limited recreational marijuana sales, yet obvious pot spoofs tied to the state continue to go viral.
The latest: a satirical claim that a couple of McDonald's in the state have converted their play areas to cannabis smoking sections.
As we've reported, the confusion over such stories is hardly unique.
Among the hilarious examples from early last year was this faux-report from The Daily Currant:
Ridiculous, right? Yet plenty of readers believed it — and Maryland police chief Michael Pristoop actually cited it in state senate testimony two months after it had been debunked.
Then there was this January 2014 piece from The National Report; its full headline read, "Colorado Pot Shop Attempts To Disarm Citizens With `Weed for Guns` Buyback Program."
Our favorite response from a reader who didn't realize the story was fake: "Big Brother will do anything to disarm us."
Also from the first month of last year was this salvo about Representative Michele Bachmann from the news-satire site Newslo:
Nothing about the "facts" of this story checked out — yet the City of Fort Collins, where the supposed arrest took place, soon took to Twitter to deny the Internet rumor about Bachmann's bogus bust.
More than a year later, in May 2015, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the venerable anti-drug organization, published on its website a story from the satirical website topekasnews.com headlined, "Edible Marijuana Candies Kill 9 in Colorado, 12 at Coachella:"
The article is highlighted by mentions of the lethal goodies "Uncle Tweety's Chewy Flipper" and "Gummy Satans" — names that seem to have struck the folks at D.A.R.E. is entirely realistic.
Apparently, this was also the case for those who believed the McDonald's story, even though other reports from its satire-minded source, Now8News.com, include "White Woman Gives Birth To Black Baby, Claims The Ghost Of Michael Jackson Impregnated Her" and "Woman Arrested In Walmart For Trying On Tampons In the Feminine Care Aisle."
The Inquisitr collected a number of tweets in the wake of the piece. The first two appear to have been written by folks who believe the item, while the last one at least suggests some doubts.
Hey everybody, McDonald's just legalised cannabis! Let's see if the UK can be as cool as McDonald's? http://t.co/OAE1eLKaen— Cannabis For Autism (@Cannabis4Autism) October 7, 2015
Probably a scam? Nice hedging your bet.