Idaho Senate Defeats Bill To Ban Marijuana Advertisements

Idaho Senate Defeats Bill To Ban Marijuana Advertisements

Some lawmakers who backed the ban in principle feared it “could have unintended consequences.”

By Kyle Pfannenstiel, Idaho Capital Sun

A bill to criminalize advertising illegal services or products—like marijuana—in Idaho failed to pass the Idaho Senate on Wednesday.

Marijuana is illegal in Idaho and in federal law. But states surrounding Idaho, like Washington, Montana, Nevada and Oregon, have legalized marijuana for recreational use in recent years.

House Bill 613 would have allowed misdemeanor charges for ​​”any person who willfully publishes any notice or advertisement, in any medium, within the state of Idaho for a product or service that is illegal under the laws of the jurisdiction where the product or service is offered, including federal, state, or local laws.”

Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, who sponsored the bill, has pitched the bill as a way to reign in advertisements for marijuana. The Idaho Senate rejected the bill on an 18-16 vote on Wednesday. The House passed the bill on a 47-22 vote.

Some Idaho senators critiquing the bill in floor debate on Wednesday worried about the bill’s application of federal law.

Sen. Brian Lenney, R-Nampa, said he supported the bill’s intent, but he said the bill “could have unintended consequences” and should be “narrowed down in scope.”

“I’m thinking about things like pistol braces or bump stocks or suppressors… Because we know there’s always arguments around these things,” said Lenney, who voted against the bill.

Sen. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton, said she would have loved to support the bill, but she said she had issues with its legality and constitutionality.

“The federal government at any time can make something illegal. Let’s take vitamins or raw milk or something like that, for instance. Now all of a sudden that can’t be advertised, according to what I’m reading in this legislation,” Nichols said.

If passed, the bill would have taken effect July 1, 2024.

This story was first published by Idaho Capital Sun.

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