In July of 2012, U.S. Attorney for Southern California Laura Duffy announced that, contrary to the policy guidelines of head U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, medical marijuana facilities in San Diego would have to close.
Shortly afterwards, an email went out from her office announcing that she would begin closing pharmacies in the La Jolla district of San Diego. "These pharmacies are not only about providing medicine to the sick," wrote Duffy. "They are part of a pervasive for-profit industry that facilitates the distribution of drugs for illegitimate use. Doctors are prescribing unneeded medication; kids are overdosing on aspirin; police are finding pill bottles at junior high schools."
The release, of course, was fake, but those excuses were the same her office was using to close the medical marijuana facility.
As her office scrambled to deny the release, a fake "denial" release also went out, that further illuminated the absurdity of Duffy's real actions. Then, the right-wing "Federal Accountability Coalition" took credit for the hoax, claiming to oppose Duffy because she was a "Benedict Arnold."
"I’m not a pot smoker or an Obama supporter, but... Duffy’s a Benedict Arnold," said a "FAC" spokesperson. "She’s not following orders. And what’s more, if she shuts down a proper medical marijuana facility, how long until she goes after the pharmacies?"
Finally, the real perpetrators—Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and Canvass for a Cause—revealed the action's true motives. All along the wild ride, the press had a field day.
- SD City Beat - How Laura Duffy exacerbated the prank against her
- UT San Diego - Medical Pot Group Plays Hoax On U.S. Attorney
- HuffPo - Fake Drug War Press Release Fools The LA Times
- UT San Diego - Hoax claims legal drugs crackdown; feds unamused
- ASA - DuffyHoax Revealed - Medical Marijuana Advocates Tell All