(BOSTON) -- Organizers of the committee opposing a Massachusetts state initiative to legalize medical marijuana were munching crow this week after mistakenly directing voters to a satirical website that warns a “Yes” vote could lead to a run on Twinkies, forcing residents to “eat Snowballs and other undesirable snacks that are left behind on store shelves.
“Do you really want your children growing up in a world without Twinkies?” the site warns.
If voters come out in favor of "Question 3" in November, Massachusetts would wipe out criminal and civil penalties for the use of marijuana, provided it’s prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner. The latest survey, taken by Public Policy Polling late last month, shows the measure passing by a 31 point margin, 58-27 percent.
When asked to provide information for the state voters’ guide, the opposition “Vote No On Question 3″ group submitted a link to votenoonquestion3.org, a Web address they had not yet registered. When Bostonian Scott Gacek noticed, he grabbed the domain name and built the site. It went live Tuesday, Brian McNiff, spokesman for the Massachusetts secretary of state, confirmed earlier Friday.
“The whole thing is pretty funny and tragic at the same time,” Kevin A. Sabet, a spokesman for the “No on Question 3″ committee, said in an email Friday evening. “The campaign was beaten to the punch by a satirist. Sadly, some voters may be uninformed of the ramifications of Question 3.”
Among the headlines on the fake “Vote No” homepage Friday: “Local Drug Dealers’ Union Says ‘Vote No On Question 3′” and “FACT: Medical Marijuana Will Hurt Opiate Based Medication Sales,” which makes a more serious accusation against the pharmaceutical industry:
“If medical marijuana is legalized in Massachusetts, thousands of patients will stop using opiate-based medications, like morphine and Oxycontin, which will hurt the shareholders of some of today’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
This could have potentially adverse effects on other industries, such as luxury car and yacht sales, as shareholders will have less disposable income to indulge on such luxuries.”
“Vote No On Question 3″ has since purchased another site -- mavotenoonquestion3.com -- which has replaced Gacek’s on the Massachusetts online voters’ guide. But for the millions of state voters who take their cue from the paper edition, it’s too late, they’ll be stuck contending with the “Fact” the "Red Sox are in Last Place Because of Question 3.”
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