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After Idaho legislators saw marijuana ads, bill introduced to ban advertising related to illegal products

Idaho legislators introduced a bill on Wednesday to criminalize advertising illegal services or products — like marijuana — in Idaho.

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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. 

Idaho state Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, listens to proceedings on the House floor at the State Capitol building on Jan. 23, 2024. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, told lawmakers on the House State Affairs Committee that there are advertisements for marijuana in Idaho, referencing a billboard in Idaho near the Idaho-Oregon border and newspaper advertisements shared by Rep. Heather Scott, who is from Blanchard in North Idaho near Washington. 

“And then another individual sent me — actually on the internet — that you can have drugs delivered to your Idaho doorstep. So I thought this was a little outrageous,” Boyle told the committee. 

Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, said she saw a billboard advertising marijuana in downtown Boise. 

Co-sponsored by Boyle and Sen. Chris Trakel, R-Caldwell, the bill would create a new section in Idaho state criminal law to allow misdemeanor charges for “any person who willfully publishes any notice or advertisement, in any medium, of a product or service that is illegal under Idaho law.”

The House State Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to introduce the bill. That tees the bill up for a full hearing with public testimony in the committee before it would go to the Idaho House  for consideration.

The bill would take effect immediately after being passed.

The bill is not expected to impact state or local government funds. But county sheriffs could see a benefit with fines, the bill’s fiscal note estimates.


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