Fake News: Marijuana NOT Legalized In VA

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Somebody who probably just smoked some used prank website React365 to post an article titled "Marijuana legalized in VA". The full text of the hoax read:

Govenor Terry McAuliffe passed a law legalizing the use of recreational and medicinal marijuana for the state of Virginia
As of November, first 2017 marijuana will be legal
Overall support for legalize marijuana has hit 64 30 states in the district of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana
I knew Gallup poll released earlier this month shows that a record high percentage of Americans now support legalizing marijuana

For the first time immaturity of Republicans are in favor of legalizing marijuana as well

Update coming soon

None of it is true, obviously. Most of the sentences in the article don't make sense and many aren't even grammatical. Here is the actual overview of Virginia's marijuana laws, you should probably be aware that just posessing the stuff could land you in jail for 30 days or cost you a $500 fine no matter what some prank website on the internet told you.


React365 is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.


Users don't even need to upload their own image, there is a built-in search function that will pull an appropriate image from Google image search.

Each article on the site carries a disclaimer at the bottom:

This website is an entertainment website, news are created by users. These are humourous news, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.

So don't go around smoking marijuana in public in Viriginia based on information you found on this website, you could get into serious legal trouble.

The site is part of a larger network of prank sites all using the same basic layout but sometimes in different languages. It appears to be run by a Belgian company named Mediavibes or Media Vibes which is managed by a man named Nicolas Gouriou according to registration records.

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  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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