Restrictions on potlucks in AZ could soon be eased

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Potlucks might be a time-honored tradition, but here in Arizona, they're illegal outside the workplace. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Potlucks might be a time-honored tradition, but here in Arizona, they're illegal outside the workplace. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
APACHE JUNCTION, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

If you're thinking about throwing a potluck on Super Bowl Sunday, you may want to think again. Here in Arizona, potlucks are illegal outside the workplace.

State Representative Kelly Townsend calls this one big legislative oversight, and says when the bill was crafted years ago, it wasn't supposed to make potlucks outside the workplace illegal.

In Apache Junction, somebody complained about potlucks being held. That led to new legislation that's just now working its way through the House.

For over 200 years, people have been attending social gatherings and bringing food to share.

We're all familiar with the term potluck; very few however are aware that it's illegal to have one outside the workplace in Arizona.

"Who cares? So is marijuana," said Roger Farris, who live at Golden Acres Mobile Home Park. He gave us the grand tour of the area where potlucks are thrown quite regularly.

Farris does much of the cooking while those attending bring food to share.

"I've never lost one person in here on a potluck," Farris said.

Townsend is now working to turn the law around.

A couple of years ago, she was approached by an Apache Junction mobile home park where potlucks were held. One of the residents happened to know the statutes and complained, pointing out that potlucks were legal only at the workplace.

Pinal County shut the party down and Townsend began co-authoring legislation that would allow for potlucks to be held anywhere.

"I think it was a legislative oversight. We have those all the time. We go through the statutes and they're called technical corrections, so this is kind of like a technical correction, that it wasn't intended on shutting down all potlucks," said Townsend.

As a taxpayer, mobile home park resident Tim got upset when we mentioned to him that elected officials were even discussing such legislation.

"The fact that some politician has got to actually stop and take the time to address this? Come on, that's ridiculous," he said.

So right now, if you throw a potluck outside the workplace and someone really wants to make a stink about it, you can be fined or possibly arrested for breaking the law.

Townsend says she doesn't expect the governor to sign off on this bill until sometime this summer.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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