A country that clearly has a great deal of progress to make politically, although the United States has made great strides towards fixing its justice system in recent years, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Moreover, in the wake of a series of mass shootings, police brutality, and more, many are beginning to wonder if the laws in America are as democratic as they are portrayed to be. Undoubtedly, despite the array of initiatives being introduced, for most, it is clear and apparent that many things will need to change before there is truly justice for all.
Moreover, one of the hottest debates of our age, our world has changed a great deal since the constitution was signed in the late 1700's. Indeed, while many of the laws and amendments that have been created were done so in the interest of the average, law-abiding American citizen, it also has to be said that many of these laws were conceived during a starkly different time period. Nevertheless, with 20,000+ laws presently on the books, as well as the fact that many laws only apply to particular areas, revisiting and updating these laws would take much more time than the justice system has to waste. Although many of the dated and more frivolous laws often go unenforced, (i.e. jaywalking laws) their mere existence gives police and other governmental agencies a level of wiggle room that most are simply not comfortable with. All things considered, take a look at the following 15 crazy American laws that still exist today.
15 Why the Chicken Didn't Cross the Road - Georgia
No, this isn't a punchline. Apparently, the city of Quitman, Georgia has a serious vendetta against recklessly walking poultry. A law that may have been mildly pertinent at some point, in Quitman, it is illegal for chickens to carelessly strut across open roads. While this may seem fairly reasonable to some, the real question is why would they address the chickens themselves rather than the farmers? Indeed, it is far more likely for a farmer to say, read, comprehend, and comply with the law to begin with. So, why would the poor chickens be left to answer for their own behavior? Either way, fried chicken is huge in the south. So, it could be that they were far more concerned with making sure the chickens didn’t get away than the actual semantics of the law. Or maybe there hands were greasy and the document is actually littered with typos. The world may never know…
14 No Computer Love - Florida
Hide your iPhones! Hide your Androids! Another victim of poor wither, poor working or misguided intentions, the State of Florida has essentially outlawed the use all computers as well as smartphones with their newly written law that was intended to address the matter of internet cafes. In other words, in an attempt to rid Florida from those big, bad internet cafes, they effectively banned all devices that can be considered a computer in any fashion. Although the internet cafes were shut down immediately, the state has yet to crack down on the use of those demonic computer devices. Interestingly enough, the true reason the law was introduced was to prevent individuals such as the state’s then Lt. Governor, Jennifer Carrol, from potentially using them as internet gambling fronts as one of her charities had already been accused of doing. Nevertheless, despite the Lt. Governor resigning and the cafes being shut down, the poorly-worded law is still on Florida’s books.
13 Topless In Time Square - New York
Although it may sound like some nudist Utopian fantasy, there are actually areas in the United States where it is legal for women to go topless. A seeming score for the feminists of the world, after a group of women came together to contest a law that contained wording which targeting women explicitly (in the 80's) , the court eventually ruled that it is legal for women to go topless in the State of New York (in 1992), provided that they aren’t using those tatas for work, of course. Almost completely undermining the point, (many who identify as feminists, are also highly in favor of legalized sex work) although the law does give women the right to walk around topless, disallowing them to make money whilst doing so is clearly not an attractive option. In case you haven’t been to New York recently, it’s cold! Who would be walking around topless outside of the 2 months of summer anyhow; especially, for free?!
12 No Milk-Free Milkshakes - Hawaii
For those who have a sincere disdain for watery milk-infused beverages, a move to Hawaii might be ideal. Of all things to focus on, Hawaii actually has a law that states that all milkshakes must contain real milk. More specifically, the law states that if you are going to include some sort of milk substitute in a milkshake, the customer must be warned beforehand. Seemingly a no-brainer, what this law actually does is shine a light on the shady nature of the food industry in America as a whole. Just as many people freaked out when certain fast food restaurants began boasting about new recipes which now contained 100% chicken or beef (what where we eating before?!) this bill shows us that you can never be too sure what you’re eating or drinking. Either way, it seems that for those who reside in or visit Hawaii, your milkshakes are fairly safe…we guess.
11 Get Drunk & Get Arrested - Alaska
For bar hoppers who live in or around Alaska, blaming it on the alcohol is just not an option. Quite the contrary. In fact, if you become overly intoxicated in a club or bar in Alaska, you will likely be jailed altogether. Although similar laws such as this one exist in many areas across the globe, they are arguably hardly ever enforced for obvious reasons. Nevertheless, many clubs in Alaska purportedly do the exact opposite. By employing plain-clothes police officers, violators of this law are more easily caught. Once one of these secret agents witnesses someone who is vomiting, falling off of stools, and displaying other drunken behaviors, they then make a call to the station and request that uniformed officers come and make the arrest. The culprits then endure the sobering experience of being arrested, cited, and released. Although the punishment is relatively minimal, it is likely enough to prevent most from consciously re-offending.
10 Weather Modification - Colorado
Although many may have believed it to be some crazy conspiracy theory, weather modification is actually a legitimate business. This is made evident by the fact that Colorado has a whole law that says you must acquire a license before screwing with the weather. Nevertheless, while many may expect a more sinister plot at play, it seems that the reasons for having such a program (at least in Colorado) are fairly innocent. Given that this is an area well known for its beautiful ski slopes, ensuring that there is a sufficient amount of snow can be vital during the winter months. Either way, some things seem to go without saying. Let’s hope the average person would never just take to the skies to modify any area’s weather without being properly trained to do so and assuming they would even have access to the means to do so to begin with.
9 Underage Alcoholic Chefs - Illinois
While it’s probably not a good idea for those who may be genetically prone to alcohol dependency, the State of Colorado just made an exception in regards to underage drinking. However, this should hopefully not cause too many underage alcoholics in the future. Rather, the goal of this initiative is to create a class of young chefs who are capable of having the same evolved pallet as that of a seasoned adult. After the president of Kendall College and Culinary School, Emily Williams Knight pointed out that chefs must be allowed to taste all ingredients, especially wine, in order to better understand and be able to create more innovative, flavorful combinations, the law was create. Passing the preliminary stages with a landslide, it seems that the lawmakers of Colorado are either really enthusiast about trying new food fusions or they rather like the idea of seeing the next “Top Chef Jr.” take a few swigs on television.
8 No Rodeo At The Rodeo Show - Massachusetts
So, assuming you are the type to attend a rodeo in the State of Massachusetts (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and also assuming that the mere act of attending a rodeo (with horses present…yes, actual horses) gets your gears going, you’re really going to hate this next law. While it may be acceptable for you to get your rodeo on at the rodeo show, you had better check your surroundings before doing so. Apparently, it illegal to get your freak on at a rodeo…if there are horses present. While we’re not exactly sure under what circumstances this law was concocted, we can be certain that doing so is a punishable offense. Next time you’re feeling frisky at a rodeo, you may want to take your show on the road…or at least make sure the horses aren’t watching. Granted, some of us would be much more concerned with the prying eyes of other people, but everyone is different.
7 Hold the Halitosis - Minnesota
While it is not quite clear how this could ever be enforced, Alexandria, Minnesota has a law prohibiting husbands from forcing their funky breath on their wives during intercourse. More specifically, husbands whose breath reek of garlic, onions, or sardines are prohibited from having sex with their wives. Nevertheless, unless there is some home edition of a funky breathalyzer on the market, it is unclear how this would ever be proven or disproven in a court of law. Either way, just to be safe, if you’re a married man in Alexandria, Minnesota (sorry, single ladies) you should probably stay away from garlic, onions, and sardines near bedtime and be sure to brush those teeth while you’re at it. Moreover, despite the clear issues with securing convictions, wives who have husbands with halitosis should be encouraged; the law is on your side! Sadly, there is no mention of any breath restrictions for wives.
6 No Dwarf Tossing - Florida
You'd think some things would go without saying but, some of these laws should serve as the writings on the wall in terms of the history of so-called humanity. For some strange reason, tossing dwarfs was a popular sport at one time. Said to have originated in Australia, apparently, after hearing about this totally awesome (not) pastime, other areas just had to get in on the fun. It seems that Florida was one such area at some point, as they actually have a law on the books that explicitly states business owners could be fined for hold dwarf-tossing competitions. After a local dwarf who had been a part of the competition died of alcohol poisoning following an event (surely you can't expect people to submit to being tossed whilst sober) the law was put into effect. Even more curious, a Floridian legislator attempted to have the law repealed in 2011, but fell short.
5 Can't Believe It's Not Butter - Iowa
Terrible news for butter bootleggers in Iowa, there is a law in existence that could end your whole business in an instant. Although it is not exactly clear why a place with plenty of dairy cows would need such a thing, (well, perhaps that is the reason) apparently, those who try to pass off margarine, or any other non-butter substitute, as butter, will face penalties. Specifically, the law lists the passing off trying to trick people into consuming non-butter substitutes by calling them butter as a misdemeanor. Moreover, in light of the great butter debate, it has recently been asserted that real butter is actually healthy for you and margarine is pretty much “chemical junk” which makes such a law actually useful at this point. Although it is clearly not the worst offence in the world, you don’t want to incur a grease spot on your record over the need to cut a few corners. Just say no.
4 No Fake Cocaine - Arizona
For phony drug dealers who reside in the State of Arizona, you had better watch your step. A state that has been long since herald for its ability to yield amazing marijuana plants, (depending on what state you live in, there may or may not be anything wrong with that) it seems that the state hasn't been so lucky with its cocaine collection. After a student opted to smash up some peanuts and pawn them off as crack cocaine, it was discovered that there is actually a law that prohibits people from creating and selling imitation cocaine as well as other drugs. Indeed, although maybe we should be more concerned with things such as actual drugs, or the crack dependent citizens themselves, but clearly, the manufacturing of phony crack is something that should be addressed. I mean, clearly we can't have angry dealers and addicts on the streets bereft of the real thing. That would be unethical!
3 Felony Adultery - Michigan
Although adultery is essentially illegal everywhere, (we guess) it seems that some areas take marital infidelity much more seriously than others. For instance, in the State of Michigan, there are some serious penalties for being an adulterer. A statute that has been in existence since 1931, adultery is not just a crime in Michigan, it’s a felony. Punishable by up to 4 years jail time as well as a hefty $5,000 fine, those who cheat in Michigan could ruin their very lives as they know it…in theory. However, in action, it seems that the state falls ways short in regards to enforcing this law. After a police sergeant was caught cheating on the job and received neither jail time nor a fine, it can be assumed that at least some of the Michigan population is immune to this law. Nevertheless, trying this without some high-ranking position in the government is not at all advisable.
2 Post-Proposal Nookie - South Carolina
For womanizers who get their kicks by making false promises, you might want to avoid South Carolina. For males over the age of 16, it is against the law to seduce a woman by falsely promising marriage. While this would certainly make for an interesting day on jury duty, it seems highly unlikely that these types of charges are commonly pursued. Either way, if a male is found guilty of this type of fraudulent behavior, they could be charged with a misdemeanor, fined, or imprisoned for up to a year. Luckily, given the male-dominated state of politics in this country, there are loopholes. For example, if the woman already has a husband (which means she can’t marry anyone, anyhow) or if she is considered unchaste, the guy is off the hook at the phony proposal in null and void. Furthermore, it can also be assumed that convictions in regards to this crime are hard to nail down.
1 No Medieval Duels For Legal Servants - Kentucky
For those who work in the legal field and live in the State of Kentucky, you may want to keep your knight-related escapades to yourself. All lawyers, public defenders, and legislators must take an oath asserting that they have never fought a duel using deadly weapons. Introduced in the mid-1800 when activities such as these were more prevalent, it does makes sense why the law was on the books initially. It seems that, in an attempt to rid the world of the brutish dueling culture, they introduced an initiative to deter those who were interested in politics from participating in the barbaric sport. Mostly a southern tradition, this makes the fact that this law exists in Kentucky all the more pertinent. Nevertheless, if there is some type of penalty for politicians who use weapons and excessive force against others, that has been much less than evident based on the state of the world in recent years. Just sayin’.
Sources: NPR.org, movoto.com, sweetliberty.org
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