Young girl banned from selling mistletoe to pay for braces, told to beg instead

Madison Root11-year-old Madison Root wanted to help her father pay for her braces by selling mistletoe at Portland Saturday Market, but, the Daily Mail said, a security guard stopped her and told her to beg instead.

The guard reportedly told her she was violating city code, and could either beg or give the mistletoe away and ask for a donation instead.

Meanwhile, she said, there were people right next to her raising money for pot.

The Daily Mail added:

‘I wouldn’t think I’d have any problems  because people are asking for  money, people are selling stuff, this is a public  place,’ Madison told KATU.

‘There were people right next to me with  signs that said, ‘Got pot?’ she said. ‘They’re raising money for  pot!’

Root says a private security guard for the  market told them that they were  violating city code (specifically Chapter  20.12.020, ‘Soliciting For or  Conducting Business’ in a public park). Under the  rule, it’s illegal to  ‘sell or offer to sell any article or service’ without a  permit.

“People can get money for pot but I can’t get money for braces? I’m working for  this, they’re just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot,” she told KATU.

According to the Portland Park Bureau, selling any item without a permit is illegal, but begging is considered free speech protected by the First Amendment.

We totally understand the rule,” she said.

But the effort wasn’t a total loss.  The Daily Mail added:

When news of Madison’s aborted market day got  around, one supporter called to order 30 bags of mistletoe. Ashton Root also  told ABC News that McKinzei Farms, one of the  area’s biggest Christmas tree farms, had made a donation of $1,000 for Madison’s  braces.

Madison Root cutting mistletoe.
Madison Root cutting mistletoe.

Madison says she’s returning on Dec. 14 for what she calls “The Great Kissoff.”

“The city laws are supporting begging and are against working,” she said.  So, young Madison is preparing a speech that lays out her “work for it” ethic and plans to bring mistletoe.

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“She may break the law, or  just give it away,” her father said. “Donations accepted.”

Madison,” the Daily Mail said Tuesday, “had the top set of  braces fitted today.”