Fake News: Trump NOT Set To Legalize Medical Marijuana In All 50 States

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Trump NOT Set To Legalize Medical Marijuana In All 50 States

Is President Trump set to make medical marijana legal in all 50 states? No, that's not true despite claims in the headline of a viral article. It came from a site that habitually takes bits and pieces of real news and adds a misleading or false headline to get more traffic and ad revenue. The headline is highly misleading.

The claim originated from an article published by YourNewsWire on May 27, 2018 with following headline: "Trump Set To Legalize Medical Marijuana In All 50 States" (archived here). The story itself opened:

President Trump is set to sign legislation which will make medical marijuana federally legal for terminally ill patients. The bill, known as the "Right to Try Act," will prohibit the FDA from banning natural cures, and allow patients to try medications that have not been approved by the FDA, but are currently under clinical trial.

Right to Try was passed unanimously by the Senate last summer and by the House of Representatives on Tuesday in a vote of 250 to 169, after Trump personally lobbied for its passage. While the bill's provisions are targeted at a wide range of medications, they also apply to medical marijuana thanks to a clinical trial being conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Sciences (MAPS).

Right there the article already walks back from the headline. Medical marijuana, as generally understood, is used to treat various illnesses, afflictions and disorders, most of which are not fatal. But the new legislation would only apply to people who are about to die and who have no other lifesaving treatment options available.

But users on social media only got to see this title, description and thumbnail so they may have come away with the wrong impression:

Trump Set To Legalize Medical Marijuana In All 50 States

President Trump is set to sign legislation which will stop the FDA from banning natural cures including medical marijuana.

For more information on the proposed bill, see:

House Passes 'Right-To-Try' Bill For Experimental Drugs

Legislation that would allow terminally ill patients to get access to experimental drugs is headed to the president's desk. The House on Tuesday passed a "right-to-try" bill that was approved by the Senate in 2017. "People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to find a cure," said Rep.

The law also has nothing to do with banning or not banning natural cures, it simply gives terminally ill people the right to try treatments or medication that hasn't been fully approved yet, just in case it might work.

That's a far cry from what many people understand when they hear "medical marijuana", i.e. go to a friendly doctor with some vague ailment in order to get a prescription and pick up legal weed at the pharmacy.

YourNewsWire has published several hoaxes and fake news articles in the past so anything they write or publish should be taken with a large grain of salt. Their Facebook page "The People's Voice" recently lost its verification checkmark according to a report from MMFA.

The Terms of Use of the site also make it clear they don't really stand behind the accuracy of any of their reporting:

THE PEOPLE'S VOICE, INC. AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE.

The site was profiled in the Hollywood reporter where it was described as:

Your News Wire, a 3-year-old website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway -- a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 -- out of an apartment in L.A.'s historic El Royale.

RationalWiki described it as:

YourNewsWire (styled as YourNewsWire.com[1]) is an Los Angeles-based clickbait fake news website known for disseminating conspiracy theories and misleading information, contrary to its claimed motto ("News. Truth. Unfiltered").[1]

A while ago we also reported that YourNewsWire had rebranded itself as NewsPunch by changing its domain name in an apparent effort to evade filtering/blocking. It appears the site has changed back to it's old name in the mean time but you can still see the NewsPunch name in the contact email address in the footer.

We wrote about yournewswire.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident 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.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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