Alisa was shocked, when opening her mail last summer, to find a letter from Roy City, giving her notice to appear in court for a misdemeanor charge. (Her name has been changed to protect her identity.) Alisa’s own local government was prosecuting her for allowing dandelions to grow on her property — an act that is prohibited by the municipal code.
Just four months earlier, code enforcement officers had notified Alisa to fix the problem, and she quickly paid to have the area cut and sprayed — but, as is common with tedious weeds, the dandelions eventually sprouted their way back, resisting the chemicals intended to kill them off permanently. And now, Alisa was facing a charge that could land her in jail — an extreme charge for such a minor violation, and one that is unfortunately not uncommon.
Alisa’s altercation with code enforcement presents two important questions. First, aside from the city, did anyone actually mind the dandelions? Second, did they present harm to the health and safety of nearby Roy residents?
Molly Davis joins Rod at 4:20 to discuss her op-ed. What experiences have you had the lawn patrol in your city or community?