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Police Cracking Down on…Kids’ Lemonade Stands?

It must have been a slow day for police in Midway, Georgia. Officers shut down a lemonade stand in the small Georgia town, saying that the kids running it needed a business license and permits – totaling $50 per day or $180 per year – to run their operation. The girls running the stand were saving up money so that they could go to a local water park.

Apparently, shutting down kids’ lemonade stands is becoming a police trend, and people have had enough. With crime rates in many cities on the rise thanks to our poor economy, hassling kids for selling lemonade seems like a waste of police resources., and Midway, Georgia isn’t the only town where this is happening. In Montgomery County, Maryland, kids got slapped with a $500 fine for operating a lemonade stand without a permit earlier this summer. No, really. Check out the report above from Reason TV.

Sure, lemonade is basically a liquid sugar bomb, but running a lemonade stand is such a great way to let kids stretch their entrepreneurial wings and learn about managing money. Authorities cite food safety concerns as the reason for the crackdown. In the Georgia case, for example, police said they didn’t know who made the lemonade or where it was made.

Lemonade Freedom Day

Parents and kids are tired of this crazy crackdown on lemonade stands, and a group launched the Lemonade Freedom campaign which held its Lemonade Freedom Day rally this past Friday in cities across the country.

The main event on Friday – held in Washington D.C. – was a peaceful picnic near the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Lemonade Freedom activists teamed up with raw milk activists for the rally, protesting not just the lemonade stand closures but the recent government crackdowns on raw milk sales in states throughout the U.S. If you want to stay up on Lemonade Freedom activities in your area, check out the Lemonade Freedom blog. Getting involved is as easy as opening up a lemonade stand with your kids.

Did you have a lemonade stand as a kid? What do you think about these crackdowns?

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!


+ add your own
12:39PM PDT on May 21, 2013

I think the Police and Authorities need to get a life...

7:28AM PDT on May 17, 2013

Yea, i am more afraid of our law enforcement than i am of crooks! I can defend myself against crooks! People, we are becoming a police state! Read what happened in germany in the 30's. Protect and serve? They serve themselves, and how often do they protect anyone? They have more military gear than the military.Why??? James

10:10PM PDT on May 16, 2013

These must be the same cops that like to shoot dogs.

6:05AM PST on Feb 22, 2013

Yeah, on kids out in the fresh air, instead of setting on their butts playing video.And i don't beleive that the lemonaide could possibly be as unhealthy as some of our " government inspected food" James

4:36AM PST on Feb 22, 2013

Wow. The police are even cracking down on one of the many milestones for children. Next thing you know, they'll arrest us for something we post on

9:41AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Elizabeth,thanks, and yes it is! Police no longer protect us,but will certainly arrest us if we protect ourselves.It is getting way to close to natzism.Most of the police around here are out picking peoples pockets with tickets.If we are gonna take guns, lets take theirs first.

7:30AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Oh, come one! This is getting ridiculous. Kids have been doing this for decades; why all this now? Get a grip!

3:11AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

this is really bullying in an blatant manner. cops are really spending time on frivolous things, can they focus on fighting crime and catching criminals and abusers instead?

2:33AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

What a horrible thing to do to little kids!! :0 They should be ashamed of themselves!

9:50PM PDT on Oct 3, 2012

Absolutely ridiculous.

A complete mismanagement of public services, funds and public servants' time. When the streets are crime free and everyone comes to a full stop at stop signs, and when GMOs are properly labeled on all products containing them, *maybe* then we can hassle kids about selling lemonade on hot days to passersby.

What on Earth is going on? Have we lost all good sense? Really!

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