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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Bill to prohibit medical marijuana billboard ads advances in state Senate

medical marijuana billboard that says "high ann arbor"
Emma Winnowiecki
/
Michigan Radio
Billboard ads for medical marijuana, like this one in Ann Arbor, would be banned if legislation currently in the state Senate becomes law.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would ban medical marijuana advertising on billboards in Michigan. State law already bans advertising tobacco products on billboards.

"The intention of the bill is to match the ban on tobacco advertising, so we're not advertising marijuana to  our youth," said Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing.

Schor says billboard ads can encourage kids to use marijuana. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is scientific evidence that tobacco advertising influences young people to start using tobacco.

"I'm supportive of having marijuana dispensaries, and I voted for that legislation last year," said Shor. "But I don't think that a billboard advertisement of marijuana sales is appropriate."

Schor said the bill was in response to complaints about billboard ads for marijuana dispensaries popping up around Lansing.

"We saw a lot of billboards in the Lansing area pushing 'High Lansing' and advertising where people can go to get marijuana," said Schor. "And there were a lot of people who were very upset about that."

The legislation would impose a civil penalty of $5,000 to $10,000 for each day the billboard ban is violated. This is the same fine currently imposed for violating the ban on billboard ads for tobacco products.

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