Are Potlucks Legal?

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: February 25, 2016

Are Potlucks Legal?

Almost every office we have ever been a part of has potlucks… whether it be a pick-me-up, get together for you all, a holiday feast of festivities and excitement or just plain Friday Feed Day…

Potlucks are a staple of the office life…

Alas, it seems this staple of modern American life is a rather dangerous and nefarious activity. In Arizona, at least.

Yup… Your potlucks could be dangerous!

That church potluck you attended? That Super Bowl tailgate wherein everybody brought something to share?

What part of illegal don’t you understand?

According to the state of Arizona, the only good potluck apparently is a workplace potluck…

Okay so all you office people are in the clear…

Cue sigh of relief here…

Enter Rep. Kelly Townsend, a Mesa Republican and fierce defender of the communal feast…

It seems there are trailer parks in Apache Junction where residents get together on occasion to partake of the p-word. That is, until Pinal County health officials got wind of it and ordered people to back away from the potato salad.

No, really. The potluck police shut ‘em down.

Turns out state health laws require all manner of restrictions when food is served. But a previous set of our leaders made an exemption for a “noncommercial social event that takes place at a workplace, such as a potluck.”

Why a workplace potluck would be any less dangerous to life and limb than a trailer park potluck escapes me. Apparently, it escapes Townsend, too, because she’s throwing caution to the wind and preparing to ensure that we in Arizona can start living on the edge.

Yep, she’s working to legalize potlucks.

“Out in our district, we had some pretty serious issues with folks shutting down any kind of potluck that did not happen at a workplace …,” Townsend recently told her colleagues on the House Government and Higher Education Committee. “It seems funny on one hand but on the other hand, people’s rights are being infringed.”

And so comes House Bill 2341, declaring that the right of the people to bring and share a tuna casserole or other assorted potluck fare shall not be abridged. Unless, of course, somebody brings deviled eggs.

Official food of those crazy praying Satanists, don’t you know.

Townsend’s bill cleared the House Government and Higher Education Committee, 6-0, proving that bipartisanship is possible. It’s awaiting a vote of the full House.

I’m hoping that vote will come this week, that common sense and the laws of decency will prevail so that potlucks may flourish here in the land of the free and the home of the brave enough to eat spaghetti pie or corn dog casserole.

In fact, I’m hoping our leaders will be moved to improve the bill when it hits the floor. To that end, I’ve written up a little amendment for our leaders’ consideration:

“Notwithstanding custom and general all-around culinary slackery, no member of the male persuasion may bring any of the following to a noncommercial social event in the state of Arizona: Silverware, plates, napkins, rolls, chips.”

That’s right. Get to cooking, guys…

Thank goodness we know our state officials are taking care of what’s important… (*cue the sarcasm in this whole article. Thanks AZ Central!)

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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