HELENA — The attorney for the Montana Cannabis Industry Association asked the attorney general's office Wednesday to stipulate that the state will not immediately enforce the ban on medical marijuana advertising in a bill expected to become law later this week.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer has said he will let Senate Bill 423 take law without his signature later this week. The bill, passed by the 2011 Legislature, repeals the state's current medical marijuana law passed by voters in 2004 and puts in new provisions to restrict the industry and make it harder for people to obtain medical marijuana.
Under the bill, the advertising ban on marijuana would take effect immediately as soon as the bill becomes law.
Attorney James Goetz of Bozeman, who represents the Cannabis Industry Association, asked James Molloy, an assistant state attorney general, whether the state would agree to not enforce the advertising ban at this time because its penalty provision doesn't take effect until July 1.
"Let's set aside for the moment the issue of whether this provision violates the First Amendment," Goetz wrote, citing several court opinions on advertising bans.
During legislative hearings, the Montana Newspaper Association had questioned the legality of the proposed advertising ban.
Goetz said he asked the state to respond by noon Thursday.