Advertise Your Legal Product. Get Thrown in Jail

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In Oregon, it is perfectly legal for farmers to sell raw—or unpasteurized—milk…so long as they don’t talk about it.  If they do, they face huge fines and jail time.  But a major federal lawsuit filed this morning by the Institute for Justice (IJ), the national law firm for liberty, and Christine Anderson, owner of Cast Iron Farm in McMinnville, Ore., seeks to change that.

Oregon flatly bans the advertisement of raw milk, a perfectly legal product for farmers like Christine to sell.  That means Christine and other farmers are prohibited from posting flyers at local stores, advertising sales online or via email, or even having a roadside sign at the farm saying “WE SELL RAW MILK.”  If Christine does advertise that she sells raw milk, she faces a fine of $6,250 and civil penalties as high as $10,000—plus a year in jail.