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Potlucks Archives - Generation Opportunity

Arizona Decriminalizes Potlucks… Yes, Really

By | Press Releases

Potlucks in Arizona are now legal, though if you are like most people, you probably didn’t realize they were illegal in the first place. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who has neither attended nor hosted a potluck. Potlucks are a staple for tight-knit communities and families who want to host gatherings without being burdened with the responsibility of providing all the refreshments. However, until recently, those participating in potlucks in Arizona were in violation of the state’s food safety regulations. Under Arizona law, potlucks and other “noncommercial social events” held in the workplace are exempt from complying with the food safety regulations and health department inspections. This means that any potluck held in a home or even in a community church were in violation of the law. Most states have bizarre laws on the books, this is not necessarily anything new. For example, in Indiana, it is illegal to attend a public event or use public transport within four hours of eating onions or garlic. If that sounds absurd it is because it is, but these unique laws, though still on the books, are rarely enforced. However, in Arizona, officials in Pinal County have used the potluck law to crackdown on a mobile home park in Apache Junction. For Roger Farris, hosting potlucks in his mobile home have been a tradition for some time. As someone who does most of the cooking for these events, Farris told a local news outlet that, “I’ve never lost one person in here on a potluck.” After one resident complained to local authorities about the potlucks being held in the park, without a license, the country used this obscure law to put an end to these lawless community gatherings. In an attempt to decriminalize potlucks for Arizona residents, Representative Kelly Townsend sponsored…

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