This is not an ad for marijuana
October 13, 2011
Escalating their war against medical marijuana in California, federal officials now will try to put a lid on newspaper, radio, and other media advertising of medical marijuana.
U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy, whose district includes Imperial and San Diego counties, is leading the effort.
“I’m not just seeing print advertising,” Duffy said in a recent interview with California Watch and KQED. “I’m actually hearing radio and seeing TV advertising. It’s gone mainstream. Not only is it inappropriate – one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children – it’s against the law.”
Federal law prohibits placement of ads for illegal drugs, including marijuana, in “any newspaper, magazine, handbill or other publication.” The law could conceivably extend to online ads, and may be prosecuted retroactively, authorities said.
U.S. authorities recently started an aggressive and visible crackdown on medical marijuana facilities, with emphasis on Southern California dispensaries, by threatening their landlords and property owners with prosecution and property seizures.
The move against carriers of so-called “illegal” advertising is gaining traction. In August, Google agreed to pay a $500 million settlement for accepting illegal advertisements from online Canadian pharmacies.
California and six other states allow medical marijuana to be distributed in dispensaries.