In this article, you will be presented with two related news stories. The catch: one of them is completely fabricated. Can you spot the imposter?
San Francisco, October 2023
At 2:30 am, two Bay Area minors turned themselves in at SFPD’s Richmond station. According to Officer Maria Hernandez, the boys were “shaking, feverish, in bad shape. They seemed to be in need of immediate medical attention.” The youths frantically explained to Hernandez that they had bought hallucinogens at Lincoln Park Playground from a man they identified as “Chickpea.” Ambulances arrived on the scene, and the pair were taken to CPMC, where they underwent testing for various mind-altering substances. Shockingly, nothing was found in their system. Hernandez theorized that “the pills these boys purchased were probably sugar pills or something similar. There is no evidence of any illicit components being present in the pills.” “Chickpea” has since been identified as Rhett Carlson, a Bay Area native who had previously done time for vandalizing a police cruiser. SFPD has not been able to locate Carlson since the incident occurred.
San Jose, California, November 2023
Oakland judge Phyllis Hamilton recently ruled against a church that sued Santa Cruz County for a 2019 police search of a minister’s house in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The police raid uncovered drugs and money from the clergyman’s home. “They got a lot of product. They got altogether… about $200,000 worth of stuff. It was mainly mushroom and cannabis product and a little bit of cash,” said Dave Hodges, who leads the Zide Door Church of Entheogenic Plants. In their lawsuit, the church claimed the raid constituted an infringement of religious freedoms, as the church holds marijuana to be a “central sacrament.” Said Hodges, “The core concept of what we believe is our ancient ancestors came across these mushrooms and, being a hungry monkey who finds a bunch of these mushrooms, they were likely to eat a bunch of them. And, if you eat a lot of these mushrooms, you can have some very intense experiences that can only be described as spiritual visions.” Lawyer Matthew Pappas took issue with the court’s decision: “We’re living in a country that doesn’t follow the Constitution and respect the people who are attempting to practice their religion.”