The internet is full of pictures, articles, and videos stating that Phillip Morris, the makers of Marlboro cigarettes, are releasing a brand of marijuana cigarettes that will come in a cannabis-clad version of their iconic cigarette packs.
Real or Hoax
I’m going to cut right to the chase. It’s all a hoax. Marlboro has not announced any involvement with the cannabis industry. With that said, if you’re interested in hearing the origins of this myth then keep reading, because it’s about to get interesting.
Marlboro M is the current hoax that’s going around. Several sites have published articles stating that the Marlboro Cigarette brand was releasing a pack of joints called Marlboro M.
The most recent article, and the one the lead me to write this explanation, came from AbrilUno.com. I think it’s important to note that this website really doesn’t even try to hide the fact that they’re articles are hoaxes. In fact, their name is derived from April First – April Fools Day.
Abril Uno isn’t the first to spread this rumor. The rumor has become ‘stoner mythology’ as the idea of Marlboro creating a marijuana cigarette has been told around the smoke circle for decades. This is part of the reason the hoax article(s) are so successful.
As the Abril Uno article gained popularity copycat articles began to spring up and spread across social media.
Marlboro Greens sort of marks the beginning for this hoax’s origin. The Abril Uno article was originally posted in 2014, and was republished on April 1st, 2016. However, there are pictures of Marlboro Marijuana Cigarettes, referred to as Marlboro Greens, dating back to 2008.
Here’s the thing. These early ‘hoaxes’ weren’t really even hoaxes at all. The authors of the sites that published these never stated that Marlboro was actually starting a line of marijuana cigarettes. They created the photos as social commentary on their perception that big tobaccos entry into the cannabis industry has always seemed inevitable. But, having these photos pop up in google image searches helps spread the hoax years later.
Of course, no real product hoax is complete without some corresponding commercials. Don’t worry, this one has a couple of doozies. Below I’ll discuss the two most popular fake commercials associated with Marlboro marijuana cigarettes.
The 1950s Marlboro Marijuana Commercial
This one is a ton of fun. Plus, it was totally shot in the 1950s so it has to be an ad from Marlboro. Right? Wrong. The footage was indeed shot in the 1950s, but it was originally part of an anti-marijuana propaganda film called The Terrible Truth.
Marlboro M Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial
The next commercial was never actually a commercial at all. It was just an added hoax that tricked people into thinking there would be an ad during Super Bowl XLVIII.
This is another ‘fact’ that the good people at Abril Uno included, and it’s got a mind of it’s own. It was stated the commercial that would only appear in Colorado and Washington State during the Superbowl. It appears this tricked some football fans who created quite a stir. But, I can tell you with confidence that the Marlboro brand has not created a commercial for the Super Bowl to advertise marijuana cigarettes.
The Marlboro M Patent
Several sources mention a Patent for Marlboro M, but a quick search of the U.S. Government’s patent database shows no such case. Of course, I’m not a patent attorny and this was a simple search. But, of course, I can’t find any trace of a real patent anywhere online.
The funny this is, I’m pretty sure that this would fall under copyright and not necessary patent law. Don’t worry, I checked the U.S. copyright catalog was well. No Marlboro M, but plenty of copyright claims regarding the Marlboro Man.
Marlboro M Stock Price
Don’t go looking on the Nasdaq for Marlboro M stock prices or you’ll be quite disappointed.
I gotta hand it to the folks over at Abril Uno. They really know how to put the pieces together for a proper hoax. In the article, they mention that Phillip Morris stocks went from $83.03 to $420.00. The fact that the stock number was 420 should give you a pretty good indication that the article is a joke.
If Marlboro did start a company that sold marijuana cigarettes I would make their stock symbol MBMJ (It’s available!).
Legalization of Marijuana and the Future of Big Tobacco
At this time, no tobacco companies have announced any plans to step into the world of cannabis, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.
Right now, cannabis is illegal according to the federal government. This is going to keep any big players from announcing any plans that would cause unwanted attention to their brand. Once cannabis is federally legal I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if companies unroll campaigns they’ve been working on for years. Who knows?
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