BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Senate panel on Wednesday approved legislation to prohibit commercial advertising for marijuana in Idaho that could potentially be used to stymie ballot initiatives to legalize the drug in the state.
The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 7-2 with no Democratic support to send the bill to the full Senate.
The public hearing was held almost immediately after it was posted, giving the public little opportunity to participate.
Lawmakers are fast-tracking the bill as they rush to wrap up business, and it’s possible the measure could be voted on in both the Senate and House on Wednesday and sent to the governor.
Lawmakers on the panel noted advertising in western Idaho for marijuana across the border in Oregon, where it’s legal.
Lawmakers said Idaho bans cigarette and alcohol advertising, so it should do the same with drugs such as marijuana, meth and heroin.
Several members of the public who spoke feared the measure could make it illegal to gather signatures for a medical marijuana ballot initiative.
Republican Sen. Scott Grow, the bill’s sponsor, after the meeting said he wasn’t sure how the measure would affect that signature gathering attempt.
“That would take a legal opinion,” Grow said.