Weird laws populate the U.S. In Los Angeles, you need permission to wash your neighbor’s car, you can’t drive a black car on a Sunday in Denver, Colorado, and in Florida, you can’t pass gas in public after 6 p.m. Here are 12 laws that don’t feel illegal, but if you break them, you’ll end up with a hefty fine or handcuffs.
1. fortune cookies
In the U.S., the FDA disallows non-edible items inside closed edible items. So, for example, fortune cookies cannot have a seal, and Kinder Joys have to have an extra layer of plastic to separate the candy from the toys.
Scottish Haggis consists of a sheep’s lung, liver, and heart mashed together with beef and seasoning and boiled in a sheep’s stomach. The U.S. forbids the consumption of any kind of lung, including this Scottish delicacy. Markets sell variations, but the traditional version can’t come into the U.S.
3. Beer in Public
“Here in the U.S., you can’t even open a beer at a beach. I mean, lots of people still do if the beach is a bit out of sight, but in popular beaches, we do have police that go around to see if people are drinking,” a U.S. citizen states.
4. Sleeping in Public
Humans can’t sleep in public parks, beaches, forests, sidewalks, or private properties. However, you can sleep at rest stops and public streets if you have a car. The other option is finding an unhoused shelter.
“And then we wonder why kids only stay home on the computer without much social interaction. If the kid doesn’t have money ‘for attractions,’ they have no choice cause where ever they go, they risk being chased away, fined, or worse,” a forum member contributes.
6. Dumpster Diving
“There’s so much waste, perfectly good things that could have a second or even third life. But no, the Americans in charge had to make a stupid law against this form of recycling because scared people are going to trash their parking lot looking through their dumpsters.
And actually, it should be a crime to waste so much,” a respondent writes. Dumpster diving is only illegal on private property and is viewed as vandalism.
7. Taking Pictures
“Taking someone’s picture without permission. Seems logical, right, but imagine you’re filming a school sports game — you have to get all the spectators, players, medics, permission,” this person continues.
“And a solution to this is to put up a sign that says, ‘Please note that entering these premises permits the filming, photography, and broadcasting on social media and media outlets.’ Talk about a law that’s there for a good reason but can be covered by one sign that invalidates that law. Book law is nonsense, really.”
8. Collecting Feathers
According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, you cannot pick up nor collect native bird feathers and bring them home, even if the feathers are gathered into a pile with no birds in sight. You need a permit to take a feather home.
9. Crossing Double Yellow Lines
While driving on any street, you cannot cross over double yellow lines, not even when turning left or if you can’t see oncoming traffic. No matter how busy or secluded the street is, you’d be breaking the law.
“Now, I’m not talking about doing 60 miles per hour in a 30-residential area. That’s silly, but doing 80 or 90 on the motorway instead of 70 seems pretty normal. Cars are much more advanced than they were when they introduced the 70 miles per hour limit. Back then, doing 90 in a car felt like your car was going to start falling apart, but now, cars will easily do 90 without any struggles at all,” someone states.
This law applies to Hawaii and California. You cannot own a ferret in either state. Agricultural coalitions believe that ferrets will band together and disrupt livestock and plants. So, you need a permit to avoid a fine.
12. Sitting on the Sidewalk
This refers to the sit-lie ordinance that states you cannot lay down, sleep, or sit on the sidewalk. There are loopholes, though. Like in Texas, you can pop a squat between 2:01 a.m. and 6:59 a.m.
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