Is Big Tobacco already making moves into the marijuana business? Well, a story from Abril Uno might make you think that. When the website ran the story "Phillip Morris Introduces Marlboro Marijuana Cigarettes," the Internet exploded and hundreds of thousands of people shared the link on social media.
"Phillip Morris, the world's biggest cigarette producer, announced today that they will join the marijuana legalization bandwagon and start producing marijuana cigarettes," the article boldly stated. Marlboro M would be a major move by the multi-million dollar company and potentially signal big business's embrace of marijuana.
Only one problem: It's a fake news story from a fake news website.
In case you missed your ninth grade Spanish class, "Abril Uno" translate to "April First," a.k.a. April Fools'. If that didn't tip you off, maybe some key lines in the article should have given you an idea that this was too good to be true.
"Norcik added that they have begun contacting former drug lords in Mexico and Paraguay, currently the largest marijuana-producing countries in the world, for the possibility of setting up a distribution ring across the North and South American continents, to streamline the supply lines."
Yeah, not happening, don't believe it.
But some people really wanted to believe, and a few doctored images circulating the web didn't help quash the rumors.
Even though the life of legalized marijuana in the U.S. is still in its infancy, it's not that crazy to think that a huge company like Philip Morris would make a move into the ganja game.
This past December, Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA, maker of Marlboro, was very vague when asked about the possibility of the company's move into the marijuana business.
"We have a practice of not commenting or speculating on future business," Phelps said, adding "tobacco companies are in the business of manufacturing and marketing tobacco products."
Marijuana business has already been killing it in Colorado, but we're probably still a while away from big business marijuana and Marlboro M — so don't hold your breath, in fact, just inhale ... that's the point.