A recent article claims that a city in California gave free medical marijuana to African Americans due to a welfare program. This story is false.
This latest bit of bad satire is once again brought to us by National Report. The site has become prevalent recently for fake news stories which are often acerbically satirical, and sometimes relayed through social media by unsuspecting users who contribute to the spread of false viral memes under the guise of genuine news.
In this bit of sardonic writing, it is claimed that the city of Berkley, California passed a welfare ordinance allowing free medical marijuana to be given to African American patients that make less than $32,000 a year. According to the fake piece, the law was passed this past August and would go into effect in August of 2015. It goes on to relay a few bogus and sarcastically amusing quotes. Again, the article is false.
The astonishing thing about many National Report articles is the comment sections, which seem to indicate that at least some readers take these articles seriously. The discussions often veer off into hot-button arguments on topics like race or religion while failing to address the main issue of credibility.
The article contains two photos. On the National Report front page, the photo associated with the story depicts a jar of marijuana which contains a yellow sticker proclaiming “FREE to blacks”. The original picture of the jars of marijuana actually comes from a February 2014 article from the the San Jose Inside, and can be viewed here in the original format without the doctored yellow sticker.
After the article is clicked on, another photo shows a line of people waiting outside. The caption under the photo reads, “African Americans Line Up For Weed”. This picture is actually a depiction of US poverty and has been widely used around the internet since at least 2010.
A city in California is not giving free medical marijuana to African Americans. The fake story comes from National Report, an outlet known for printing satirical fiction news stories. Two photos attached to the article have been taken from other places around the internet.