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Fake News: Hells Angels Did NOT Sue Canadian Government For $2 Billion Revenue Loss Over Legalization of Marijuana

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:16:54 Z)

Did the Hells Angels sue the Canadian government because they lost $2 billion in revenue after cannabis was made legal in the country? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian website that invents fictional stories for entertainment purposes, often about bizarre crimes or weird sex acts and occasionally dipping into political satire. The lawsuit is not real.

The story originated from an article published on November 13, 2018 titled "Canada: Hells Angels sue government for $2 billion revenue loss over legalization of marijuana" (archived here) which opened:

The Hells Angels chapter of the province of Quebec has filed a lawsuit against the attorney general of Quebec, seeking more than $2 billion in potential loss of revenue that legalization of marijuana will cost the biker organization.

The illegal production and consumption of non-medical cannabis was worth about $400 million last year in the province of Quebec alone, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of the underground economy.

"We estimate that Prime minister Justin Trudeau's radical action of legalizing marijuana could cost my client's organization a potential loss of $2 billion dollars in the next decade," acknowledged Hells Angels' lawyer, Brandon Tuggs.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/canada-hells-angels-sue-government-for-2-billion-revenue-loss-over-legalization-of-marijuana/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Canada: Hells Angels sue government for $2 billion revenue loss over legalization of marijuana

The Hells Angels chapter of the province of Quebec has filed a lawsuit against the attorney general of Quebec, seeking more than $2 billion in potential loss of revenue that legalization of marijuana will cost the biker organization. The illegal production and consumption of non-medical cannabis wa

The image used with the story seems to be a photoshopped version of the one used in this 2013 story about the New York chapter of the Hells Angels:

Hells Angels rivals set to turn NYC into 'powder keg'

New York City's biker woes will get worse unless cops increase enforcement - because arch rivals of the Hells Angels are moving in and violence is likely to follow, the nation's top expert on motorcycle gangs told The Post.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

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

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About the author:

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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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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