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VERIFY: Who is behind the 'Keep Idaho' marijuana facts campaign?

KTVB's viewers want to know if a new marijuana facts commercial is a political ad leading up to the election, or something else.

BOISE — As Election Day gets closer, there are now more and more political advertisements on your screens.

So, a new commercial on marijuana facts has some confused if it's an ad for a political campaign, a ballot initiative, or something else completely.

KTVB viewers have been asking about a new commercial from Keep Idaho.

The people behind the commercial say it's all about getting out all the facts on marijuana legalization.

One viewer email to KTVB asked us to investigate the organization and the idea behind the ad.

They wrote to us in part saying,

"Their website refers to: "Keep Idaho and the Office of Transparency" which sounds almost like a state government department, but their content looks more like a political campaign or PAC working to keep marijuana laws from changing in Idaho."

First, on the people behind the ad, KTVB found out the non-profit Drug Free Idaho runs the campaign.

So KTVB can verify, Keep Idaho, their website, and their campaign is not run by the government, a political campaign or PAC

Drug free Idaho is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create a drug-free culture.

As viewers pointed out, the ad mentions "The Office of Transparency" which, does sound like it could be a government agency.

It isn't, but, it is easy to confuse it with Transparent Idaho, a government website run by the Idaho State Controller’s Office.

Drug Free Idaho Executive Director Rob Stevenson says any confusion is an honest mistake.

"Didn't even know that office was there to be honest with you. It's just marketing. It's just a vehicle to deliver that message, to be transparent," said Stevenson.

So, what is the message of Keep Idaho?

"The goal is to show people the other side of the fence. What the narrative is, is that it brings in all kinds of taxes and there is absolutely no problems with it and that is just not the case. We want to educate our fellow Idahoans about what else comes with that," said Stevenson.

Idaho is bordered by six states and Canada. Of those places, most have some form of legal marijuana.

Drug Free Idaho says that fact alone helped create their education campaign.

"We're an island of sanity in a sea of insanity," said Stevenson. “So, this is just what we do as a prevention organization."

Stevenson tells KTVB the campaign officially launched just last week, with their TV ad.

That however raised questions about if Keep Idaho was trying to make a move right before election day.

Stevenson says that is not the case.

"It's just the way it worked out, budgets, things like that. It's just the way it happened. It's a good as time as any, we are seeing states around us legalize, we are being surrounded,” said Stevenson.

So, to be clear the ad from Keep Idaho is not supporting anything on the ballot. No issue or candidate. Drug Free Idaho says it’s just their education campaign.

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