Hoaxes & Rumors

Rumor: Does Justin Bieber Smoke Pot?

Rumor: Does Justin Bieber Smoke Pot?

Justin Bieber is the target of seemingly endless rumors. One that persists is that he has been caught smoking pot. Alleged photos of him smoking pot have also circulated for about two years, none of which have been verified. Let’s take a look at the rumors a little more closely.

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1/4/2013 Update
TMZ today posted images they allege to show Justin Bieber smoking pot. The article below was written in July 2012 and addresses older images being circulated online at the time, not the TMZ images posted today.

1/7/2013 Update
The TMZ pot photos led to the #cutforbieber hoax, which we discuss here and has fooled some in the media reporting it.

2/10/2013 Update
Justin Bieber appeared on Saturday Night Live last night and appeared to offer a humorous apology for the TMZ photos showing him holding a blunt. Read the full article here.

Fake Photo
The Justin Bieber pot-smoking photos are old news. It has been established that the most common photo of him supposedly smoking pot is a fake, while others have shown him smoking electronic cigarettes.  The Examiner actually did a fine job of debunking the most popular fake Bieber photo. That photo is often cited as being a scene from his CSI appearance, which it is not. It’s merely a Photoshopped hoax, or perhaps merely a lookalike.

But the rumor refuses to die.

Fake Twitter Headlines
Recently there have been fake headlines on Twitter about Justin Bieber smoking pot, such as:

BREAKING NEWS: Justin Bieber caught smoking Marijuana with Selena Gomez http://instgram.me/Lmxm70 (photos)

Many users who saw the headline but didn’t click on the link assumed the headline was a real story, but it wasn’t. The link actually takes you to an AOL Autos page for a 2012 Scion xD.

Another fake headline read:

Dang, Justin Bieber caught smoking!!

The photo included with that Tweet was simply a graphic that read “RT and pretend something happened.”

Yet another Tweet read:

OMG… Justin Bieber smokes pot??? WTF! (See the vid below)?

This one went to a rambling political page, having absolutely nothing to do with Justin Bieber.

Fake headlines like these, along with the ubiquitous fake image of him smoking pot, along with several other purported to be Justin smoking cloves or electronic cigarettes all play their part in the rumor that Justin Bieber smokes pot.

Fake Youtube Videos
Searching for Justin Bieber pot-related videos will yield several results. Most will refer to the famous fake photo discussed above. Others are simply “Rick Rolls” or just fakes.

Alas, there is no credible evidence as of this writing that Justin Bieber smokes pot. If he does, it’s behind closed doors and far away from any cameras.

Until credible evidence arises that Justin Bieber smokes pot, this is can be considered nothing more than a rumor spread by spammers and people who haven’t done their homework. Merely saying, “I heard Justin Bieber smokes pot,” isn’t quite corroboration enough.

What have you heard about this rumor?

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