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Washington Judge Rules Medical Marijuana Advertising Ban Unconstitutional

Gavel marijuana miami prosecutorAdvertising rules in Washington State against medical marijuana advertising have been harsh. Doctors and other healthcare professionals have been banned from even mentioning marijuana in advertisements. A Washington Judge recently ruled that such a ban is unconstitutional. Per The Joint Blog:

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin has ruled that it’s unconstitutional for the state to ban doctors and other healthcare professionals from mentioning or showing cannabis in advertisements.

In her ruling, Judge Martin found that the state’s law banning cannabis advertisement violates both state and federal law by curtailing free speech.

“I find the statute impermissibly overbroad as it chills even informational speech aimed solely at public education,” Judge Martin said in a written decision.

There are advertising limits and/or bans all over the nation, and I personally think that all of them are overly broad. As one of the attorneys in the above mentioned case pointed out, the only advertising that should be banned for any professional is advertising that is false or misleading. I’m willing to accept that certain products shouldn’t be marketed to kids, but banning all advertisement, especially for doctors, is overkill. This case is surely to be appealed to the Washington Supreme Court.

  • Silverado

    This whole rotten deal where they treat cannabis differently than the wine, beer and spirits industry is not only blatantly UNFAIR, we see that the good judge here from my home county finally got it (this cannabis related ruling) right. Never mind that there’s no recreational outlets for cannabis in this county because the illustrious County Council didn’t think that quite fit in with the other things it would be closely aligned with (I’m guessing) – the wine, beer and spirits (that’s fully entrenched) industry that’s been here since statehood. What if I have some friends in from another state who wish to see the sights and taste the produce all while watching the world champ Seattle Seahawks win another SuperBowl and having a nice dinner. WHERE CAN WE DO THAT AT NOW MR. LEGISLATOR IN OLYMPIA???? How about if I told you that’s the business I want to start and all of my patrons WANT LEGAL CANNABIS CONSUMPTION ON PREMISES and SO DO I??? Oh that’s nice you tout TRANSPARENCY. How about a little of that IN ACTION??? So hopefully Pierce County gets a recreational outlet or 10 (even though we need more as we’re a large county but in true Libertarian fashion why not let the market decide how many outlets selling over taxed and over priced cannabis this County needs?) and the cannabis industry will start to be as invisible as the wine, beer and spirit industry seems to be. Especially with our lawmakers in Olympia. And who knows?? Maybe I will build that “dream facility” of a restaurant that’s 4:20 friendly because just like in The Field Of Dreams I KNOW THAT….IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME!! Am I wrong??

  • Ah. Citizens United. Corporations have free speech rights. (Can’t wait for Supak to chime in).

    • MrPC

      If doctors can’t advertise, and include information about the treatments they offer, there are a whole lot of dermatologists, hair transplant guys, oncologists, cardiovascular specialists and plastic surgeons who should be in a lot of trouble, since there are constant TV ads promoting these services.

  • Laine Kaminski

    My three interests collide: health, advertising and marijuana. Thanks to ‘The Weed Blog’ and ‘The Joint Blog’ for following the medical marijuana policy rulings…most especially Johnny Green for pointing out that the violation of state and federal law’s free speech was applied specifically to the healthcare profession. This news should be the advertising agency’s cue to concepting the plant’s latest campaign for B2B and eventually B2C marketing.