This blog has been following (and criticizing) the increasing criminalization of America as politicians make every infraction a crime. The Canton City Council is now joining this trend with a reckless abandon: threatening to jail citizens who do not cut their grass.
In Canton, a second violation of the crime of long grass would now be a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail.
First offenders currently face a misdemeanor with no jail time and $150 fine.
The Canton officials are poster children for this thoughtless use of criminal law. Law Director Joseph Martuccio simply said that they viewed it as “a way to get their attention.” There is obviously no concern over the use of a criminal code for municipal housekeeping tasks.
Nevertheless, Councilman Greg Hawk loves the idea and encouraged a “hard line” approach. Why not make them eat the grass or cut it with their teeth? That would “get their attention” and take an even “harder line.” Better yet, why not make it a fourth-degree misdemeanor to pass reckless legislation?
For a prior column on this problem, click here.
For the full story, click here.