50 Weird Laws of the Past from Credible Sources

Every state has a history of weird laws. While many of these laws seem pointless today, they did serve a practical purpose at the time they were created. The following article lists the 50 strangest verified laws for each U.S. state. During my research I found thousands of “weird laws” from many different sources, but upon attempting to verify their validity, I found that many of these laws were either wildly exaggerated or completely made up. The list below is only made up of actual laws from credible sources.

If you enjoy history and politics, you will find the following 50 strangest verified laws from each U.S. state entertaining. What makes this article different from many other “weird laws” articles on the internet, is the below laws are actually verified; most of these other articles are copy and pasted from many of the same sources, without any research into credibility. Read on to see how strange some of these laws are today and what your state still has on the books.

The List of the 50 Weird Laws of the Past from Credible Sources


1. Bear wrestling matches are prohibited.

Alabama has passed legislation ensuring that bears are not exploited in the Yellowhammer State. According to this law, an individual is guilty of unlawful bear exploitation—considered a Class B felony—if they promote, engage in, or are employed at a bear wrestling match. This law also makes it illegal to sell, purchase, possess, or train a bear for wrestling purposes. While this law sounds ridiculous, bear wrestling was once a pastime in the state, and the law is in truth meant to protect these animals from cruel treatment.

Source: https://criminaldefensetucson.com/can-put-slammer-alabama/

I for one do not advocate animal fighting by any means, and to think, someone would ever consider pitting Yogi versus Winnie. Disgusting to say the least.


2. It is considered an offense to push a live moose out of a moving airplane.

There’s a funny story about this, which all started with a Moose Dropping Festival out in Talkeetna! And while pushing moose out of planes is frowned upon, it’s totally acceptable to admire them from afar.

Source: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alaska/crazy-laws-in-ak/

I think this is an important one. If your moose is not into extreme sports, forcing them to skydive is animal cruelty, in my humble opinion.


3. Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs.

In 1924 the legislature in Arizona enacted a law which remains in effect prohibiting people from allowing donkeys to sleep in bathtubs. At first glance, the law seems ridiculous, since a donkey sleeping in a bathtub seems to harm no one, including the donkey. But that year a donkey was discovered drifting in floodwaters. After querying the owner of donkey and tub, it was determined that the tub had been abandoned outside on the owner’s property and the donkey had decided on its own to use it as its customary place of repose. When a dam near Kingman collapsed causing a flash flood the napping donkey was floated downstream.

Source: https://historycollection.com/these-are-some-of-the-craziest-laws-in-the-united-states-and-some-that-were-totally-made-up/

I think this is a sensitive personal choice, but of course as we all know, donkeys are extremely stubborn and love their tub naps. If I may offer a rational compromise? Waterbed.


4. It shall be unlawful for any person to attract or to endeavor to attract the attention of any person of the opposite sex…

This ordinance was issued strictly with the prohibition of prostitution in mind. If a person was found violating the ordinance, they were subject to pay a fine between five and 25 dollars, with no jail time included. Arkansas code 5-70-1-2 continues to prohibit prostitution, but there is no law that prohibits flirting in Little Rock, so couples can still enjoy a stroll downtown and a date in the River Market District.

Source: https://onlyinark.com/culture/top-11-absurd-arkansas-laws/

While technically, it is still ok to throw on your Sunday best and wave at your crush, the city takes the abolition of prostitution very seriously, so be careful on your approach. #foreveralone


5. Nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.

That law goes back to whenever BMX riding and skateboarding was really popular in California in the 70’s. Young teenagers would often break into swimming pools, make it this type of skate rink situation whenever pools had no water in them in the wintertime and fall.

Source: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/californias-ban-on-bikes-in-swimming-pools-and-other-strange-laws-on-the-books

Frankly, I am relieved by this one. I am sick and tired of my fins getting caught in my tire spokes. And you thought goggle fog was the worst thing that could happen to you when in the pool.

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6. It is against the law to put furniture on your porch.

Boulder’s municipal code, Section 5-4-16, makes it a crime to leave “upholstered furniture not manufactured for outdoor use,” – such as reclining chairs, couches, or mattresses – outside in the yard or on a porch. However, this ban only applies to furniture that’s clearly visible from the street, that’s left out overnight, and only in certain parts of town.”

Source: https://coloradospringscriminaldefense.net/blog/weird-colorado-laws-found-online

Well, there goes my weekend plans of lounging on the porch pull out and waiting for my Chipotle delivery. The government is out of hand.


7. A pickle is not officially a pickle unless it bounces.

In a 1948 article concerning the arrest of pickle packers Sidney Sparer and Moses Dexler for selling pickles “unfit for human consumption,” Connecticut Food and Drug Commissioner Frederick Holcomb discussed ways to check for good pickles. In addition to the laboratory tests used to examine the Spareway pickles, he told reporters that you could also “drop it one foot and it should bounce.” The pickles in question did not. Sparer was arrested, paid a fine of $500 (the maximum allowed by law) and the pickles were destroyed.

Source: https://libguides.ctstatelibrary.org/law/pickle

This one is a bit irresponsible and has impacted my life personally. In attempting to perform the proper due diligence by using the bounce test at the local farmer’s market, I was arrested for public misconduct and second degree pickle slaughter. No one mentioned to remove them from the jar.


8. Getting married on a dare is grounds for an annulment.

Among the grounds for annulment of a marriage given in 13 Del.C. § 1506 is: “One or both parties entered into the marriage as a jest or dare.” Go to the Delaware Courts’ website, download the Petition For Divorce/Annulment Form and there it is on page 4, “describe how and when you learned of the jest or dare.”

Source: https://blogs.lawlib.widener.edu/delaware/2011/10/24/weird-laws-of-delaware-marriage-on-a-dare/

Thank goodness this is not the law in Las Vegas or else the local economy would crumble and Elvis ministers would be out of work.


9. Rolling a barrel down the street is considered illegal.

Such activity can actually attract a fine. If the contents of the barrel are heavy, and weigh a lot then you may face a fine. If not, you may just face a warning and be let go. However, the fact that this activity is potentially illegal means you should advise children and other younger adults who may roll barrels down during festivities, or perhaps because they simply do not know any better.

Source: https://americancourthouse.com/10-most-unusual-laws-in-florida/

And now we finally know why Mario retired to Miami beach; he is safe from Donkey Kong and protected by the law. Sometimes the justice system works.


10. All citizens must own a rake.

In Acworth, Georgia, all citizens must own a rake and use it to do their civic duty. Most people don’t know this law exists and often are surprised when they find out. In Acworth, Georgia, it is illegal for any citizen not to have their very own personal garden tiller or weeder to keep the municipality free of pesky weeds that can only grow wild if there isn’t someone immediately available with a dedicated attitude towards pulling them up by the roots one at a time!

Source: https://atlantainjurycounsel.com/top-10-weirdest-laws-in-georgia/

Luckily, the mandatory weeding is offset by the peaches; they are amazing.

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11. All minor children must obey their parents.

All children during their minority shall obey the lawful commands of their parents, or, the lawful commands of their natural or adoptive parents, or of the guardians appointed according to law.

Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/hawaii/2019/title-31/chapter-577/section-577-6/

This law was revised in 2019. As a dad, I have not returned to Hawaii since 2019. Aloha.


12. It is illegal to fish atop an animal.

According to author John C. Snider, the true origin of this “factoid of questionable provenance” – corroborated by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game – dates back to roughly between 1910 and 1920, when Idaho law prohibited fishing from atop the back of any animal. The rationale was that if persons fished from atop a horse, mule or donkey, the hooves of the animal would track fecal matter into the applicable river or stream, cause undesirable turbidity and disturbance to the eggs laid by fish; from these relatively sensible beginnings 100 years ago…

Source: https://www.nvbar.org/nvlawmag-archive-957232/NevLawyer_Dec2011_Back-Story.pdf

This one really is a bummer for animal riding fisherman, but on a positive, I may have found a loophole:


13. The sport of “dwarf tossing” is illegal.

Those who practice a bizarre sport known as ‘dwarf tossing’ will have to stage their first U.S. contest elsewhere. A terse news release from the city’s Law Department said Friday the dwarf toss could not debut at O’Sullivan’s Public House Sunday without a proper city permit. Apparently the proper city permit does not exist. Dwarf-tossing, in which contestants try to see who can heave a human dwarf the farthest, apparently goes back many years to England, where the activity is now barred.

Source: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1985/11/16/City-halts-dwarf-throwing-contest/7887500965200/

Personally, I find the act of tossing a little person reprehensible. If you really want to impress someone, have a Shaquille O’Neal tossing contest. Open bar of course.


14. You can get out of paying for a dependent’s medical care through prayer.

Thoughts and prayers? Technically, if you present your case well enough to the judge, you can make the defense that your prayers are treatment, and you won’t get punished by law for refusing to help your dependent. While I’m not saying you shouldn’t pray for your loved ones, I do think you should probably at least try to see a doctor.

Source: https://do317.com/p/weird-indiana-laws

They are really onto something here. I am currently petitioning for tax exemption through sufficient meditation. My attorney has stopped taking my calls.


15. Running a bar “tab” is illegal.

Tabs and credit vouchers are illegal. Licensees may extend credit only through the use of bona fide credit cards (American Express©, Discover©, MasterCard©, Visa©, etc.). Patrons may run a tab while they are drinking in the establishment, but licensees must ensure the tab is fully paid before the patron leaves the establishment.

Source: https://abd.iowa.gov/education/legally-speaking/key-compliance

So much for the ol’ wine and dash in Iowa. Hopefully they accept Diners Club© or else my 1 a.m. Taco Bell run will not be as delicious.

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16. No bathing in the Missouri River.

Sec. 242. Bathing in the Missouri River, etc. No person being naked or insufficiently clothed, shall bathe, wash, or swim in the Missouri River, or in any other water course, pond or pool within the City limits, between the hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset, thereby causing improper exposure of a person.

Source: https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/these-ks-mo-laws-and-regulations-are-for-real-and-they-may-leave-you-scratching-your-head

I am assuming this was an issue rooted in history. Imagine walking out on your riverside home porch, with a nice cup of coffee, to be greeted but a bunch of naked people with loofas in hand. As they say, “the best part of waking up, is dirty old guy butts.”


17. Women need hat purchasing permission.

Hats off to the ladies. Women are not allowed to purchase a new hat without the authorization of their husband according, to KRS 252.130 in Owensboro.

Source: https://faq-law.com/kentucky-laws-krs/page/1/

In doing further research, this law was actually intended to prevent fedoras from existing. Unfortunately, the language was butchered and our history will never be the same.


18. Goatees are illegal, unless you have the proper permit.

In the Bayou State, goatees must be kept private unless you first pay a special license fee for the privilege of wearing one in public. You may try to invoke this law if you want a loved one to shave, but chances are you won’t get very far since it’s no longer enforced.

Source: https://www.morrisbart.com/blog/strange-louisiana-laws/

The law should’ve ended at “Goatees are illegal.”


19. You cannot catch a lobster with your bare hands

Lobster is one of Maine’s most appreciated delicacies, but you’d better be careful about how you catch it. It’s illegal to catch a lobster with your bare hands, though it seems that you should be rewarded for the feat, since those claws are a tough obstacle to get around without the help of a net. If you happen to indulge on lobster in Huberson, Maine, be sure not to eat any more than 4 potatoes with the meal, since you will need to feed one potato to each of your pigs if you eat more than 5 in one meal.

Source: https://criminaldefensetucson.com/maine-justice-dumb-laws-from-americas-northeast/

If you are bold enough to do it, I think you should be allowed to keep it.


20. Cursing inside of the city is illegal.

You have to think this law is seldom enforced. The law reads: Sec. 13-53. Profanity; violation of section declared misdemeanor. (a) A person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway.

Source: https://www.dcmdlaw.com/blog/2016/july/questionable-laws-you-may-not-curse-on-the-stree/

Thank goodness this is not enforced in my home state of New York, we would be paying fines every 3 seconds. The f*****g taxes are high enough, thank you.

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21. Rock ‘n roll was banned.

Rock ‘n roll was banned in Boston and five other Northeast cities in 1958 after an alleged riot broke out following Chuck Berry’s performance on the Big Beat show hosted by Alan Freed. News Journal reported the ‘raucous, undulating rhythms that teen-agers call cool’ were banned in Boston…

Source: https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/rock-n-roll-banned-boston-after-alan-freed-causes-riot

I personally support this ban coming back for Creed, Nickelback, and Limp Bizkit. They must be stopped.


22. Selling cars on Sunday is illegal.

This is an actual law in Michigan, however, the law states that only counties with a population larger than 130,000 are prohibited from selling cars on a Sunday. This means all Upper Peninsula counties are in the clear. So, you may be asking yourself “why aren’t dealerships open on Sundays?” Malmsten points to this, “We enjoy a day off!…

Source: https://www.uppermichiganssource.com/content/news/Laws-Fact-or-Fiction-388112512.html

With the current lack of inventory and the rising prices, I think selling cars right now should be illegal, period.


23. More than two days a week of bingo taking place in nursing homes was illegal.

For decades, nursing homes and senior centers have only been allowed two bingo days a week. But starting July 1, they’ll be free to play all the bingo they want. It started with a complaint from a Texas woman in 2014 to Minnesota’s Gambling Control Board. After visiting her mother-in-law’s nursing home in St. Paul, Kate Allen was upset not only that bingo days were restricted, but also that she as a guest couldn’t join in. Both restrictions will be lifted on Wednesday.

Source: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/06/29/bingo-restrictions-in-minnesota-soon-to-be-lifted/

You will also be happy to know that the stringent “puff, puff, pass” law has also been lifted at nursing homes; seniors are finally legally allowed to hog the Dutchie without ramification.


24. It is legal to be drunk in public.

No person may be charged with or convicted of the offense of drunkenness or public drunkenness. This one is actually true. As of 2010, Minnesota Statute # 340A.902 titled “Drunkenness Not A Crime” states that “No person may be charged with or convicted of the offense of drunkenness or public drunkenness.”

Source: https://www.messagemedia.co/aitkin/news/dumb-laws-real-or-ficticious/article_dd2384f9-6eb7-5d3c-9773-5f09c8763dcb.html

I am assuming this was written by a bunch of street dwelling, drunk politicians. Looks like I know where I am headed to on spring break.


25. You can serve your child alcohol.

Missouri is one of the few states in the United States that allows a minor to be furnished alcohol by his or her parent of guardian and there are no legal consequences. This allows children to have small amounts of intoxicating liquor with their parents at meals, religious services, gatherings, or other moderate forms. It is important to note that this allowance is with small amounts in moderation. If, as a parent or guardian, you are purposefully intoxicating your child, it can be considered child abuse.

Source: https://kcdwi.org/supplying-alcohol-minor-missouri/

Looks like no beer chugging contest for you this year junior.

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26. Women may not dance on bars.

In Helena, Montana, a woman cannot dance on a table in a saloon or bar unless she is wearing at least three pounds, two ounces of clothing. There is no specification as to the types of clothing required or what must be covered, so presumably a heavy belt buckle could satisfy this law.

Source: https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/did-you-know-there-are-laws-against-dancing-31825

Luckily, Coyote Ugly was filmed in New York City, clearing the cast of any potential jail time.


27. Barbers are not allowed to shave a man’s chest.

Here’s something else we found. There’s a city ordinance stating that barbers are prohibited from shaving a man’s chest hair. That’s news to Jen at Dundee Barbers but willingness to comply quickly followed enlightenment. “I guess I’d have to say no,” because, “I just learned today that it’s illegal.”

Source: https://www.wowt.com/content/news/Aging-laws-have-a-lasting-grip-but-they-just-dont-make-much-sense-559592401.html

But can you ask for some braids? Just asking should be illegal and a prosecutable offense.


28. You can be executed for shooting a dog.

Nevada law still states that it’s legal to execute someone if he shoots a dog on the pet owner’s property. That’s because dogs were so valuable for protecting property and herding farm animals that Nevadans made shooting one a capital offense. It’s still a poor idea to shoot man’s best friend for any reason, but you probably won’t be hanged for it today.

Source: https://bjsmithcriminaldefense.com/blog/5-strange-nevada-laws-brian-j-smith-criminal-defense-attorney/

I will only offer some sound advice here and leave it at that; don’t shoot dogs.

New Hampshire

29. It is illegal to inhale toxic vapors for fun.

A person is guilty of a violation if he or she purposely smells or inhales the fumes of any substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors, for the purpose of causing a condition of intoxication, euphoria, excitement, exhilaration, stupefaction, or dulled senses of the nervous system, or possesses, buys or sells any such substance for the purpose of violating or aiding another to violate this section. This section does not apply to the inhalation of anesthesia for medical or dental purposes.

Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/new-hampshire/2015/title-lxii/chapter-644/section-644-5-a

So I guess I will not be partaking in my favorite pastime while visiting New Hampshire:

New Jersey

30. It is illegal to pump your own gas.

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states where drivers cannot legally serve themselves gasoline, although the Oregon ban is relaxed in rural areas. In both, legislators introduced bills this year that would change that. In the Garden State, the “Motorist Fueling Choice and Convenience Act” would allow all gas stations to offer self-service. Those with more than four pumps would still be required to have a full-service option between 8am and 8pm. The bill would also allow stations to lower the price for customers who pump their own gas.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/20/1093860768/amid-high-gas-prices-n-j-weighs-lifting-its-self-service-gas-ban

With these rising gas prices, we will likely be refining our own petroleum soon anyway so, might as well.

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New Mexico

31. Public spitting is illegal.

It’s actually a petty misdemeanor to spit on any public state property, building, or sidewalk. The act of spitting is considered offensive to public wellbeing, and could land you in jail. The law covers any public carrier, public sidewalk or roadway and all public buildings, stores, churches, houses, schools or other buildings in which persons frequently congregate. This means that if you’re in New Mexico, better keep public places spit free if you want to avoid possible jail time.

Source: https://tuckeryoderlaw.com/10-odd-new-mexico-laws-tucker-yoder

Chewing tobacco? Anyone? No? That is the last time I buy in bulk at Costco.

New York

32. It is not illegal to jump off of the empire state building.

The 31-year-old Corliss, who has jumped from the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, was arrested and charged by New York prosecutors with reckless endangerment — a felony. But, it turned out, there is no law in New York that makes it illegal to jump from buildings. In January 2007, a city judge ruled that Corliss had not acted recklessly and had broken no laws.

Source: https://www.today.com/news/daredevil-sues-nyc-landmark-thwarting-jump-1C9011041

Darwin is rolling in his grave right now. We did not let nature take its course. Disgraceful.

North Carolina

33. It is against the law to sing off key in Church.

William Linkhaw, a member of a Methodist church in Lumberton, was indicted for disturbing a religious congregation with his poor singing skills. Linkhaw claimed it was his duty to sing as a means of properly worshiping God and stated it was never his intention to disturb the congregation. During the trial, a witness was asked to imitate Linkhaw’s singing, which “produced a burst of prolonged and irresistible laughter, convulsing alike the spectators, the Bar, the jury and the Court.” Linkhaw was found guilty but appealed his case.

Source: https://www.ourstate.com/north-carolina-weird-laws/

If only I could have cited this law during my childhood, I would have attended service more.

North Dakota

34. Charitable groups can hold poker games to raise money, but not more than twice a year.

A licensed charitable organization may conduct poker on two occasions per year. Poker activity must be conducted at an authorized site of the licensed organization. An organization may supply the dealer.

Source: https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/licensing-and-gaming/gaming-forms/poker

This law has recently been revised to exclude the tide pod challenge.


35. A city ordinance prohibits women from wearing patent leather shoes in public.

You might want to think twice before leaving the house wearing your glossiest patent leather shoes (or not, since this law isn’t enforced). Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public.

Source: https://www.younginjurylaw.com/blog/2021/07/10-of-the-weirdest-laws-still-on-the-books-in-ohio/

Apparently this was created because of the reflection that comes from the shoes providing a “view” that some would prefer to keep private. There is some well intended logic here, but I would rather walk through a bee infested forest than tell anyone how to dress. Good luck with this one.

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36. It was illegal to get a tattoo (until 2006).

Oklahoma became the last state to make tattoos legal when the governor signed legislation on Wednesday to license and regulate tattoo artists and parlors. The measure ends a ban on tattooing that had been in effect since 1963. The new law takes effect Nov. 1. The legislation calls for sanitation and health guidelines for tattoo artists and parlors and periodic inspections by the state Health Department. Previous attempts to lift the ban over the past decade were fought on health as well as moral grounds.

Source: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-05-11-0605110139-story.html

If only I had lived in Oklahoma back then, I would not have this lower back tattoo. College was wild.


37. Leaving your car door open too long could get you a penalty.

A person commits the offense of improper opening or leaving open a vehicle door’ if the person leaves a door open on the side of a vehicle available to traffic, or to pedestrians or bicycles on sidewalks for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. This offense is considered a Class D traffic violation and the penalty is a maximum fine of $250, minimum of $60 and presumptive fine of $110.

Source: https://linerlaw.com/strangest-laws-in-oregon/

You see a nuisance, I see an opportunity to sell auto shutting car door mechanisms.


38. It is illegal to put pretzels in bags in Philadelphia.

Finally, a law that makes sense to all of us. It has long been the law in Philadelphia that you can be arrested for selling pretzels in bags. If you sell the pretzel wrapped only in a napkin, however, you are in for a perfectly legal treat. This law was made during the prohibition, where “pretzels” were often sold in paper bags, and illegal alcohol accidentally found its way into the bag as well. While this law can technically still be enforced, it is unlikely that you will be arrested for your heinous crime.

Source: https://www.needtoknowfacts.com/food/it-is-illegal-to-put-pretzels-in-bags-in-philadelphia

Auntie Anne was basically Billy the Kid during prohibition.

Rhode Island

39. Challenging anyone to a duel, even if it never takes place, is illegal.

§ 11-12-2 Challenging or accepting challenge to duel. – Every person who shall challenge another to fight a duel with any dangerous weapon, to the hazard of life, and every person who shall accept a challenge to fight such duel, although no duel be fought, shall be imprisoned not exceeding seven (7) years nor less than one year.

Source: https://law.justia.com/codes/rhode-island/2014/title-11/chapter-11-12/section-11-12-2/

What is the statute of limitations here? What about those that challenge those to challenge others? What is the penalty there?

South Carolina

40. A railroad my not remove itself from a town of more than five hundred people.

SECTION 58-17-160. Railroads shall not remove from towns of more than 500. In the exercise of the powers and rights conferred in this chapter no railroad shall remove its line of railway from any incorporated town of more than five hundred inhabitants through which it now runs.

Source: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t58c017.php

I would imagine this exists to keep people from being stranded once they have settled into a community, but really? You expect any train to just up and leave? Trains are not sentient.

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South Dakota

41. You can use fireworks to protect your sunflower crops.

When a farmer has run out of options trying to protect their sunflower crops, South Dakota legislature allows for one more explosive option: fireworks. The law reads:  “Any agricultural producer may purchase and use explosives, pyrotechnics, or fireworks for the protection of sunflower crops from depredating birds.” A specific point in the law states that the fireworks may not be used within 660ft of an “occupied dwelling, church or schoolhouse” without the landowner’s consent.”

Source: https://www.farms.com/ag-industry-news/6-strange-ag-related-laws/4

Ironically, the “sunflower” firework would be wildly ineffective at protecting one’s crops.


42. Panhandling requires a permit.

In 1994, City Council members passed the panhandling ordinance, which became active in 1996. The ordinance requires “Any person panhandling to have a permit, as issued by the city treasurer, or his designee, in his/her possession at all times.” The law restricts panhandling in areas such as parks, golf courses, libraries, the Main Street Mall, and the Mid-South Fairgrounds. When the rule was first enacted, panhandlers had to fork over $10 for the permit. Today, the permits are free for the asking.

Source: https://www.memphisflyer.com/your-permit-please

Even asking for help requires a permit nowadays. In other news, you will soon be required to have a permit to request a permit. Violating said ordinance would permanently revoke a person’s ability to ask permission for the permit required to get permits.


43. A proposed law would require criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice of the crime to be committed.

In 1973, Rep. James “Jim” Kaster (D-El Paso) filed HB 110, which proposed to make it a crime to commit a crime without providing at least 24 hours’ notice to the intended victim. The bill did not pass and did not become law. You can read the proposed statute entitled “Failure to Warn Victim of Crime” in the LRL Legislative Archive System. Source: LRL’s current exhibit in the Library, “Texas Laws: Fact or Fiction?”

Source: https://lrl.texas.gov/whatsnew/client/mobile/postDetail.cfm/2CF364D4-C69D-2F0D-C436332ACB75AAA9

As the famous quote says “Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go.” And in this case, having poor manners would have carried you to the courthouse.


44. It is illegal to throw rocks.

City Code § 12.04.150 states: It is unlawful for any person to throw, cast or put into, drop and leave in any street or public place within the city limits of this city, any stones, gravel, dirt, manure or garbage or allow the same either intentionally or carelessly to drop off or be thrown from any truck or other vehicle driving through the streets of this city, and allow the same to remain without immediately removing it.

Source: https://attorneyatlawmagazine.com/there-are-some-strange-laws-in-utah

Or as I like to call this law, the “my older brother ruined my childhood” law.


45. Bathing once per week was an edict.

Long ago, during the early years of the state’s formation, the state government put out an edict that required every state resident to take at least one bath a week. This was an effort to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases and also there weren’t enough doctors to treat all the sick people.

Source: https://linerlaw.com/strangest-laws-in-vermont/

We have to remember, back then, society did not have an advanced scientific understand around preventing disease, as-well-as the lingering effects of eating curry.

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46. Trick or treating under the age of 12 could’ve gotten you jail time.

According to the City of Chesapeake code of ordinances, anyone over the age of 14 who engages in trick or treating is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $250. Anyone who trick or treats after 8 p.m. is also guilty of the same charge. While many might think this law is a pretty cruel trick, the ban on big kids is nothing new for Chesapeake. In fact, the penalty was only reduced in March 2019 when city officials loosened the original 1970 ordinance that said kids over 12 years old who were trick or treating could face jail time.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/23/us/chesapeake-halloween-punishment-trnd/index.html

I am not sure why anyone would oppose this. Teenagers are so irresponsible now. By age 15, I was working at an exploding glass factory, barefoot in the snow, supporting a family.


47. Dance marathons were once illegal.

On March 15, 1937, Governor Clarence D. Martin (1884-1955) signs into law State Bill 189 outlawing dance marathons statewide. Dance marathons are Depression-era human endurance contests in which couples dance almost non-stop for hundreds of hours (as long as a month or two), competing for prize money.

Source: https://www.historylink.org/File/5599

The Governor had the foresight to predict that the dance marathon was merely a gateway drug into dance battles and reality TV dancing shows. This was a great man.

West Virginia

48. You can legally eat roadkill.

West Virginia motorists who run down the odd critter can legally take it home for dinner under a law passed by the Legislature. The bill, which has made West Virginia the butt of jokes nationally, would let drivers keep their road kill provided they report it to conservation or police officers within 12 hours. The measure became law when Gov. Cecil Underwood declined to veto it by a Thursday deadline.

Source: https://apnews.com/d475bae34723efaf7baa7989f921fab2

This reminds me of my great grand uncle Leonard’s favorite quote: “Hit the beast? Time to feast.”


49. Yellow butter substitute was banned.

In 1895, the state, to protect its dairy farmers, banned the manufacture and sale in the state of yellow oleomargarine. If you wanted to buy margarine in Wisconsin, you could only get it in unappetizing white. And, on top of that, you had to pay an extra tax on it for the privilege.

Source: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/special-reports/dairy-crisis/2019/08/28/protect-dairy-industry-wisconsin-tried-keep-yellow-margarine-out-oleo-run/1950671001/

So, you had to believe it was butter, under penalty of law. Don’t mess with dairy farmers.


50. It is illegal for women to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking.

Perhaps Wyoming’s craziest law on alcohol, though, is that it is illegal for a woman to stand within five feet of a bar while drinking. The reason for this law is unknown, but it’s unlikely to be enforced if a woman is found to be too close to a bar with a drink in her hand.

Source: https://www.steventituslaw.com/blog/crazy-wyoming-laws/

It is also illegal to eat a hamburger within five feet of a McDonald’s, due to rampant hamburglary in the Wyoming Area.

Bonus Law: District of Columbia

It is a crime to give false weather reports.

Whoever knowingly issues or publishes any counterfeit weather forecast or warning of weather conditions falsely representing such forecast or warning to have been issued or published by the Weather Bureau, United States Signal Service, or other branch of the Government service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ninety days, or both.

Source: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2074

The Weather Girls are currently finishing their last week in federal prison. And to think, this was my jam in college. Shame on me.

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