Weird State Laws Across America


  • it is unlawful to carry, manufacture, sell or handle any non-biogradable plastic-based confetti


  • an intoxicated person may not ‘knowingly’ enter or camp out where alcohol is sold


  • no one can feed garbage to pigs without first obtaining a permit


  • a pinball machine cannot give away more than 25 free games to a player who keeps winning → it aims to prohibit machines that encourage gambling


  • a frog that dies during a frog-jumping contest cannot be eaten and must be ‘destroyed’ as soon as possible


  • you have to get a permit to modify the weather → it’s illegal to perform activities that create changes in the composition or behaviour of the atmosphere


  • it’s illegal to collect ‘rags, paper, glass, old metal, junk, cinders or other waster matter in the city of Hartford without a license


  • it’s a misdemeanour to sell, barter, or offer the fur of a domestic cat or dog → any products may result in a fine of $2,500 and a ban of owning a dog or a cat for 15 years


  • people who own bars, restaurants and other places where liquor is sold may be fined up to $1,000 if they participate in or permit any contest of ‘dwarf-tossing


  • those engaged in llama-related activities, such as riding, training, or goofing around at a county fair, are responsible for any personal injuries they suffer → it protects llama owners from liability in the event of harm or death


  • billboards are outlawed with few exceptions, including notices from public offices and signs posted where goods are sold


  • cannibalism is strictly prohibited and punishable by up to 14 years in prison → however, the law is allowed under ‘life-threatening conditions as the only apparent means of survival’


  • it’s illegal to posses any variety of aquatic life that was captured or killed or whose value exceeds $600


  • liquor stores cannot sell refrigerated water or soda → it needs to be room temperature


  • anyone trying to pass margarine as real butter is guilty of misdemeanour under food-labelling laws


  • it’s illegal to sell liquor by the glass in over 25 counties across Kansas→ individual counties may by resolution of petition prohibit the sale of alcohol in public places where 30% or less of their gross revenue comes from the sale of food


  • every legislator, public officer, and lawyer must take an oath stating that they have not fought a duel with deadly weapons


  • jambalaya (Creole stir-fry with rice, meat, and veggies) prepared in the ‘traditional manner’ (in the open using iron pots and wood fires) is not subject to state sanitary code


  • a game of chance called Beano (like Bingo) is regulated here → a person may assist players by playing their cards while they take a bathroom break


  • fortune-telling is illegal→ ‘anyone pretending to forecast or foretell the future of another by cards, palm-reading or any other scheme, practice or device’ can be found guilty of a misdemeanour and fined up to $500, or even serve time in jail


  • singing or playing only a part of the national anthem ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ or remixing it as dance music is punishable by a fine of not more than $100


  • adultery is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of four years in prison and possibly a $5,000 fine


  • any contest in which participants try to capture a greased or oiled pig is illegal → the same laws also prohibit turkey scrambles


  • profanity in public could land a person in jail for up to 30 days → conceived in order to protect the public
  • people cannot display obscene stickers, paintings, decals, or emblems in public on motor vehicles of clothing


  • if a bull or ram over the age of one year runs rampant for more than three days, any person may castrate the animal without assuming liability for damage → three town residents must attest in writing that the animal is loose, and its owner must fail to reclaim or confine the beast after notice is given


  • driving animals onto a railroad track with intent to injure the train can result in a fine up to $50,000 or in a stay at the state prison not exceeding five years and other damages


  • no person who is afflicted with a sexually transmitted disease can marry → however, it’s nearly impossible to enforce this law as no blood test or medical history is required to get a marriage license


  • a person using a device called shoe-fitting fluoroscope (also known as pedoscope or foot-o-scope) is guilty of misdemeanour as it could expose the patient to radiation

New Hampshire

  • it’s illegal to carry away or collect seaweed at night → marine plants and algae are used to make fertilizer and animal feed

New Jersey

  • a person wearing a bullet-proof vest while carrying out a grave criminal act can be charged separately for suiting up
  • the practical effect is more jail and fines

New Mexico

  • for many years, ‘idiots’ could not vote in most elections → the word was historically used to describe someone mentally disabled or with an IQ below 30

New York

  • it’s banned ‘being masked or in any manner’ disguised in public with other people dressed in the same getup

North Carolina

  • a bingo game being conducted or sponsored by a commercial organization may not last more than five hours → however, it doesn’t apply to non-profit groups

North Dakota

  • all members of North Dakota’s Dry Pea and Lentil Council must be citizens → the organization was created to promote certain agricultural industries


  • every operator of an underground coal mine must provide an ‘adequate supply’ of toilet paper with each toilet


  • a state statute says it is a ‘fact that there exists and international Communist conspiracy’ committed to overthrowing the US government


  • it’s a Class A misdemeanour to leave a container of urine or fecal matter on the side of the road


  • it’s illegal to barter a baby → however, swapping goods or services for a baby is only a misdemeanour, which is usually punished less harshly than felonies

Rhode Island

  • someone who bites off another person’s limb will face no more than 20 years in prison but no less than one → only applies if it was done on purpose

South Carolina

  • a male over the age of 16 cannot seduce a woman by falsely promising to marry her → however, no law exists with the gender roles reversed
  • if found guilty, the man is charged of misdemeanour, fined and possibly imprisoned for no more than one year

South Dakota

  • liquor stores cannot sell alcoholic candy containing more than .5% alcohol by weight


  • you can’t hunt, trap, or harm an albino deer intentionally → it’s a Class A misdemeanour


  • people wishing to run for office must acknowledge the ‘Supreme Being’
  • if not, they could be subjected to religious texts


  • no one may hurl a missile at a bus or bus terminal except ‘peace officers’ and security personnel → it’s a third-degree felony


  • it’s prohibited to outlaw solar collectors and clotheslines, listing both items as ‘energy devices based on renewable resources’


  • ‘fornification’ or sex is completely banned, except for married couples → it’s punishable as misdemeanor


  • doors to nearly all public buildings must be open outwardly → to avoid congestion during emergencies

West Virginia

  • anyone who hunts, catches, takes, 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 up to 100 days in jail


  • many different kinds of state certified cheeses (like Muenster, Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack) must be ‘highly pleasing’ → non-tasty cheese is technically punishable by law


  • it’s illegal to ‘cut, sever, detach or mutilate’ more than one-half of a sheep’s ear → violations are felony offences punishable by up to five years in prison

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