Weird American Laws Aug 12, 2015 9:34:21 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Aug 12, 2015 9:34:21 GMT -5
Weird American Laws
We've all heard urban legends and rumors about absurd laws in America, but you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Sites such as dumblaws.com – which rarely link to states' current statutes or may misinterpret them – perpetuate the myths. We decided to find the weirdest laws that are actually still on the books and came across everything from fines for dwarf-tossing to bans on sex. Here are some of the highlights:
In Alaska, it's illegal to get drunk in a bar and remain on the premises. Though this sort of defeats the purpose of a bar, the statute states that an intoxicated person may not "knowingly" enter or camp out where alcohol is sold – so maybe if you're inebriated enough, you can get away with it.
In California, it’s illegal to eat a frog that dies in a jumping contest. This health code likely made its way into the books to protect competitors at the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jumping Jubilee, an 80-year-old tradition in the gold mining town of Angels Camp. Each year, tourists and experienced jockeys compete to see how far their bullfrogs can leap.
No dwarf-tossing in Florida. Owners of commercial establishments where alcohol is sold may be fined up to $1,000 if they participate in, or permit, any contest of dwarf-tossing, because it was outlawed in 1989. A Florida state legislator actually tried to repeal the law in 2011, but wasn't successful.
You can’t eat people in Idaho. When it outlawed the act in 1990, Idaho became the only state to declare cannibalism illegal. The act is strictly prohibited and punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but it is permissible to "willfully ingest the flesh or blood of a human being" in life-or-death situations – if it's the only apparent means or survival.
In Indiana, liquor stores can't sell cooled water or soda. However, they can sell un-chilled soda, so expect warm Coke if you purchase it along with your rum. The code specifically lists what type beverages (and at what temperatures) permit-holding businesses are allowed to have in stock.
No trying to pass off margarine as butter in Iowa. This is a law that should be passed in all states. Is there anything more disgusting than being served margarine or some other butter substitute with baked potatoes, seafood or on toast? All states should pass laws that restaurants must state on menus whether it uses/serves real butter or a substitute.
No non-latex condoms in Maryland vending machines. Any business person caught doing so is guilty of a misdemeanor and can be fined up to $1,000.
It’s illegal to cheat on your spouse in Michigan. A statute on the books since 1931 makes adultery a felony punishable by a maximum of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. And if a married man sleeps with a single woman (or vice versa), even the unmarried party is considered guilty and can be charged accordingly.
No greased-pig-catching contests in Minnesota. The same law also prohibits turkey scrambles. Let's assume legislators were more concerned about animal cruelty than human stupidity.
Public swearing is illegal in Mississippi. If you swear in public in front of two or more people, you could spend 30 days in jail, or pay a fine.
No night collection of seaweed in New Hampshire. As of 1973, if you carry away or collect seaweed or break other provisions pertaining to fish and game, you could be charged with a violation. Though this law may sound silly to the average person because seaweed is actually a widely used commodity routinely used in fertilizer and animal feed and is also considered a good source of alginate, which gives liquid solutions a thicker texture (think Jell-O).
You can’t play bingo for too long in North Carolina. That's right: For certain organizations, bingo games may last no more than five hours. The state's administrative code even contains a few more explicit restrictions on the game: only one in a 48-hour period and no more than a $500 prize.
It’s okay to set off explosives in South Dakota if you’re protecting your sunflowers. Crows and other birds can wreak havoc on a blossoming field and pyrotechnics are a farmer’s first defense – so long as they're not used within 600 feet of an occupied home, church or schoolhouse.
Atheists aren't allowed to run for public office in Texas. Though the Lone Star State prohibits "religious tests" as a qualification for candidates, anyone wishing to run for office must acknowledge the existence of a "Supreme Being."
Sex outside marriage is prohibited in Virginia. No matter your age or that of your partner, breaking this law results in a Class 4 misdemeanor.
You can’t hunt with ferrets In West Virginia. Anyone who hunts, catches, takes, kills, injures, or pursues a wild animal or bird with a ferret will face a fine of no less than $100 (but no more than $500) and no less than 10 (but no more than 100) days in jail.
Wisconsin prohibits substandard cheese. Not to stereotype, but in Wisconsin – also known as America's Dairyland – many different kinds of state-certified cheeses (Muenster, cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack) must be "highly pleasing."
Source: Emmie Martin, Christina Sterbenz and Melia Robinson, Business Insider, March 6, 2015.