Currently it is illegal to sell yellow margarine in Missouri.
Though the state no longer enforces laws that restrict the sale of imitation butter, the penalties could still make those who sell illegal dairy products spend up to a month in jail and pay a $100 fine for first-time offenders, and the punishment for repeat offenders is six months in jail and a $500 fine, according to a 2008 Associated Press report.
The law was likely put into practice to protect Missouri’s dairy industry from imitation butter in the early 20th century, according to the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
Technically this means the Missouri Department of Agriculture reserves the right to prosecute any person who violates the law as it exists today. Walmart, Gerbes and Hy-Vee are actually committing crimes by purchasing these items and putting them on their shelves.
For the second year in a row, State Rep. Sara Lampe announced plans to repeal the law.
While it seemingly makes sense to remove a law that is not being actively enforced, is the amount of time and resources that will go into repealing a virtually innocuous law worth the effort?
Should Missouri decriminalize the sale of yellow margarine?