Fake news has been a part of culture for decades, and now problem appears to be as bad as it gets with respect to the topic of marijuana reform. There is no shortage of bogus news floating around in the wild world of the web to tug at the hearts of enthusiastic smokers, many of whom are just champing at the bit to be the first to tell their friends that “Congress Just Legalized Marijuana in All 50 States” or that “Obama Will Sign Executive Order Removing Marijuana From Schedule One.”
And here, folks, is another piece of fake news, this one claiming the tobacco companies have gotten into the business of legal weed and are now preparing to launch a version of marijuana cigarettes under popular brand names.
It was reported on websiteTMZWorldNEWS reported that the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was on the verge of bringing a new cannabis cigarette to market called “Newport Nirvana.”
“Reynolds American Inc. Chief Marketing Executive Lawrence Harrison, said in an interview that the company has been ecstatic on the idea of marketing cannabis, and has been monitoring the market for some time,” the story reads. “It was only when the recent legalization initiatives — winning in Colorado and Washington — that the company finally made the decision to take part in the cannabis market.”
This is not the first time phony news purporting Big Tobacco’s involvement in the legal marijuana market has spread across Facebook like a wild-eyed zombie virus. Last year, a story emerged suggesting that Phillip Morris had gotten into the cannabis business and was now selling a marijuana cigarette called Marlboro M.
In fact, the latest Newport marijuana story appears to somewhat of a blatant rip off of the one about Phillip Morris.
Of course, neither story is true, nor will there ever be any factual basis in the stories like them that are destined to show up in your news feed sometime within the next year. That’s because there is absolutely no chance the major tobacco companies (or any other large multi-national corporation) will even consider getting into the business of marijuana as long as the substance remains outlawed by the federal government.
Yet the moment Uncle Sam drops the prohibition shenanigans and decides too allow the cannabis plant to be taxed and regulated in manner similar to alcohol and cigarettes, as President Obama recently said it should be, there is a possibility that Big Tobacco will come swopping down to get in on the action. But the industry does not appear to be hanging around, waiting for major changes to the nation’s marijuana laws in order to jump on a new profit center. These companies are generating more than enough revenue (almost a half trillion dollars globally) without becoming part of the marijuana game.
So, the next time you run across a story that suggests Big Tobacco is preparing to market a new marijuana cigarette, just know that the tale is most likely completely untrue and then move on to something with a little more substance — like an article by Mike Adams on The Fresh Toast.