The government of the Marshall Islands has expressed its surprise that president Jurelang Zedkaia has issued an executive order legalising cocaine and introducing "a no-visa unrestricted entry programme for foreign nationals of any country".
The bold initiative was apparently provoked by the need to raise cash to defend the islands against rising seas which could see the Pacific archipelago swallowed by 2040.
The "visibly emotional" Marshallese prez lamented the destruction of 1,000 years of civilisation which began when the white man first set foot on the Marshall Islands' sun-kissed beaches.
He declared to the press: "Then the Westerners came. First it was the atomic bombs, and then now their irresponsible emissions are drowning our islands. We are tired of being raped and victimised. As a sovereign nation, I declare the right of this country to legalise any substance it wishes."
When pressed as to where he'd be obtaining the Bolivian marching powder, Zedkaia declined to name his source, but said it'd be "the real thing, uncut and pure, the best you can get".
That's the story according to "CBS Breaking News"...
...but the islands' government insists:
"The attention of the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands has been drawn to a bizarre news item published in cbsbreakingnews.com, which alleged that the country has legalised cocaine and liberalised immigration regulations. We wish to respond to this publication by stating in very clear and unequivocal terms that it is totally false, baseless and irresponsible."
It continues: "The Republic of the Marshall Islands, as a responsible member of the international community, has not legalised cocaine or any hard drug and does not intend to ever do so."
Regarding an immigration free-for-all, it adds: "The Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands will not, and has no intention ever, to liberalise these laws but will continue to ensure that only law-abiding immigrants with well-defined objectives are allowed into our beautiful and serene country."
It appears libel action is now likely against CBS Breaking News, which is not the much-loved US news outfit*, but rather a site "run by some faceless individuals whom the Government intends to unearth legally and compel, through the judicial process, to account for their libelous acts and yellow journalism". ®
* A CBS Breaking News disclaimer delightfully clarifies that it's "not affiliated with the Copenhagen Business School of Denmark, nor the Canterbury Building Society of New Zealand, nor CBS Corp of the USA".