Could you end up with a criminal record for growing a weed (no, not even that one). In the UK the answer is yes!
UK homeowners can now be fined for continuing to allow noxious weeds to grow in their gardens under new UK Home Office anti-social behaviour laws (Anti-social Behaviour Order or ASBOs). Invasive non-native plants are causing a serious problem in residential areas and are causing damage to forestry, agriculture & infrastructure.
Anti social behaviour laws had previously targeted intimidation and heavy drinking. This is the first time that growing specific plants such as Japanese knotweed, Giant hogweed and Himalayan balsam has also been considered antisocial. Ironically while some ignorant gardeners are growing these plants because they like the look of them, Britain at the same time has spent approximately £1.25 billion trying to eradicate the weeds.
Individuals who do not remove plants can receive an on-the-spot penalty of £100 or criminal prosecution. If they still fail to remove the plant they can be fined £2,500.
So beware of nosey neighbours and don’t give them a reason to dob you into police for harbouring an ‘illegal’ weed!
Do you think growing declared weeds should be a criminal offence?