I was probably like six years old, and out in front of our house in Campbell, at the base of the light post by the sidewalk, there was a clump of poppies. I saw it, and I grabbed one to pull it up, and my friend Joe Bloom who was a little older than me, probably 8, said “you can’t pick those, it’s against the law and you’ll go to jail”. Clearly that moment stuck with me. From that moment with forward, and I probably shared it with everyone that I came into contact with. Fast forward to when my daughter is the same age, she heard the same thing from her friends.
This is something I definitely heard too when I was younger, from my friends while I was in elementary school. In reality however, the law is that you aren’t allowed to pick any flowers on state property, so it’s interesting that this legend has persisted.