Not every law is actually serviceable.
Sometimes, laws are just sort of oddly arbitrary and outdated. In Massachusetts, until very recently, if three women were on a lease together, the dwelling would be considered a brothel.
In other places, the laws just clearly exist because somebody did something dumb: such as hair dryers being required to list a warning on their packaging that says "do not use while sleeping."
What weird laws do you know about?
Here were some of those answers.
Not Trespassing Apparently
In Missouri it used to be illegal to have oral sex. When I was a teenager this couple (Married 11 years) was actually jailed for it. A neighbor had just walked into their house, caught them then called the police.
Later I found out that it was to deter gay people. How stupid can folks be?
Scotland has three court verdicts: Not Guilty, Guilty, and "not proven". The third basically means "we know you likely did it, but we can't actually prove it."
We Love Our Dairy
It's illegal to serve margarine at restaurants unless customers explicitly ask for it.
Violators face up to $500 fines, and 3 months behind bars. Subsequent offenses can get you up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
This Somehow Wasn't The USA
Lol I don't live there anymore, (I moved recently because of the coronavirus), nor was I actually from the country, but it was recent made illegal to say the words 'corona' 'coronavirus' 'COVID-19'.
The whole country was pretty messed up. . . I'm happy to have left. It was the last flight out the country and it had to be chartered. . .
When Being Awkward Was Illegal
Ireland had another one for a while where 2 kids under the age of consent could have sex, but if they attempted to have sex and failed/didn't go through with it, it was a crime. Wasn't ever enforced or anything, was just one of those technicalities people figured out and had a laugh at
You can't act suspiciously with a salmon.
The phrasing is "Handling Salmon in Suspicious Circumstances." That means, if your salmon was likely to have been poached you can go to jail even if you didn't poach it yourself. The UK is a small island you can't let everyone there go and poach wildlife or there won't be any left.
How Do You Even Get Penalized For This
Not on the mainland, but on the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard it is illegal to die. If you are dying you must be flown over to the mainland to die there, or you'll break the law.
I think you're also not legally allowed to stay (or arrive/disembark) if you are sick, or require medical attention beyond superficial treatment. For some reason it's unfeasible to set up a permanent treatment facility for all the 2600 people there.
God Save The Queen
The Criminal Code of Canada is very protective of the Queen.
Acts intended to alarm Her Majesty or break public peace
49 Every one who wilfully, in the presence of Her Majesty,
(a) does an act with intent to alarm Her Majesty or to break the public peace, or
(b) does an act that is intended or is likely to cause bodily harm to Her Majesty,
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
Selling defective stores to Her Majesty
418 (1) Every one who knowingly sells or delivers defective stores to Her Majesty or commits fraud in connection with the sale, lease or delivery of stores to Her Majesty or the manufacture of stores for Her Majesty is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
He Was Just Being A Jerk
When my friends and I were 15 we bought some cheap kites at the dollar store and decided to take them with us downtown (we live in Chicago) and fly them. We started trying to fly them by the Art Institute/Millennium Park when we got stopped by a cop. He told us that kites were not allowed to be flown anywhere in the downtown area and if he saw us doing it again he would give us a $250 citation. It seemed kind of weird since both Millennium and Grant park, along with other smaller parks, were in the downtown area, but we didn't argue.
Years later I found out that it actually was an obscure law, but a law that was repealed in the 1970s. So, we were fine flying our kites and that cop just didn't like us having fun.
And Finally, Good Ole 'Murica
- Vermont banned banning clotheslines
- You can't throw rocks at trains in Wisconsin or force people to get microchipped
- Blasphemy is illegal in Michigan as is being drunk on a train
- You cannot make fake drugs in Arizona
- Dogs can't hunt big game in California
- No biting while boxing in Utah and the same state does not allow happy hour sales
- Swearing at sports events is illegal in Massachusetts (I wonder why all Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots fans aren't constantly taken into custody) and EMTs cannot help dogs there either
- Can't use false names at hotels in New Hampshire
- Pretending to be religious figures in Alabama is illegal as is playing dominoes on Sunday
- Severance, Colorado just made throwing snowballs legal in 2019
- To hold public office in Texas, you must believe...in something. Texas also does not allow you to sell your eyes
- Bingo games cannot last more than 5 hrs in North Carolina
- You cannot sniff glue with the intent of getting high in Indiana
- Biting a person's arm off is illegal in Rhode Island
- Adultery is illegal in New York
- Teachers in Tennessee cannot speak to students about hand-holding
- Dance halls cannot be close to cemeteries in South Carolina and they cannot be open on Sunday
- Alcohol sales can be illegal during hurricanes in Florida and it is illegal to corrupt public morals in the same state and doors must open outward in public buildings (makes sense)
- You cannot use x-rays for shoe fittings in Washington (which used to be common)
- You cannot hold a fish and firearm at the same time in Wyoming
- R rated movies cannot be played in drive-in theaters in Delaware and you can forget about selling your dog's hair there too
- You cannot live on a boat for more than 30 days in Georgia
- Southington, Connecticut has a ban on silly string
- Derby, Kansas has made hitting a vending machine illegal and screeching your tires too
- Hawaii doesn't allow billboards
- Everett, Washington only allows hypnotizing indoors
- Enfield, New Hampshire doesn't allow hunting in cemeteries
- If you have an STD, you cannot get married in Nebraska
- All tanning beds in Iowa must have warning signs (not a bad thing)
- You cannot lie down on a sidewalk in Reno, Nevada
- You cannot leave your car door open too long in Oregon nor throw your urine out of a vehicle either
- You cannot molest butterflies in Pacific Grove, California
- Farmers cannot sell pickles at farmers markets in Connecticut
- You cannot wear a bulletproof vest while committing a crime in New Jersey