• A Pickle Crime? Posted on August 14, 2019

    A Pickle Crime? It’s no secret that lawmaking is a complex process. And yet, no matter the topic policymakers consider, the government should always set out with the same intention: to serve the public and protect their rights. Michigan carries some laws on its books, however, that criminalize behavior that in no way threaten our rights or safety

    For example, Michigan regulates cucumber pickling. These laws mandate the size and quality of cucumbers that may be used for pickling. Size is easily measured, but quality is another issue. State rules require that cucumbers must be the color that “is typical of cucumbers for pickling,” free of “any injury or defect which materially affects pickling quality” and “not materially curved, materially tapered . . . or otherwise materially misshapen for pickling purposes.” There’s clearly lots of room for interpretation within these definitions. Nevertheless, cucumber picklers may be criminally punished if they violate these subjective standards.

    Read more from Emma Eisenman and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy here: https://www.mackinac.org/the-crime-of-pickling-improperly-shaped-cucumbers

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