Legally Weird: Legislative Oddities Archives
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Lobbyists lobby -- they try to influence legislators to vote for their particular cause. This effort can include persuasive argument, fundraising assistance, or even campaign committee contributions. Outright gifts are strictly limited and must be reported.

A new Missouri law may require lobbyists to report sex with state legislators as a "gift" under state lobbying statutes. This shines a whole new light on lobbying in The Show Me State.

Ah, New York City. The Big Apple. The Five Boroughs. The Modern Gomorrah. Home of constitutionally-protected sex shops, topless ladies, and gigantic sodas. The City That Never Sleeps is truly a wonderland for all the heart and stomach desire. Except salt.

NYC is requiring restaurants to add a new warning label for any menu item that contains too much salt, but restaurants are not going along without a fight. The National Restaurant Association sued the City, saying health regulators are overstepping their bounds and getting the science wrong. So who's going to win this epic battle between city and sodium?

Butt Dials: a Big Pain for 911 Dispatchers

Last year Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O'Rielly suggested that half of the nation's 911 calls were no emergency. Now researchers have confirmed that there is something to this statement, in San Francisco at least.

Pocket dials -- also known by the more crude appellation "butt dials" -- make up almost one third of the city's emergency calls, according to data from Google researchers shadowing dispatchers. Emergency line operators said these accidental calls were the biggest "pain point" in their day.

The hottest trend in avoiding the IRS has people bailing on the United States altogether. From Facebook co-founders to Massachusetts socialites, thousands of Americans are renouncing their citizenship to lighten their tax burden.

And it turns out a law aimed at reducing the number of offshore accounts has also reduced the amount of American citizens.

Despite not being a selfie at all, so-called "ballot selfies" are now legal in New Hampshire. A federal judge struck down the state's ban on posting photographs of filled-out voting ballots, which are obviously not the face of the person taking the picture.

The judge overturned the law on free speech grounds, which apparently means everyone is free to call any old photo a "selfie" these days.

Have you ever claimed your tea cup chihuaha as a service animal when you don't actually have any disability? Well, don't. You could be thrown in jail.

Florida's law criminalizing false service animal claims took effect today. The problem with laws is that they usually don't make exceptions for lighthearted pranks, even when cute animals are involved.

Is it Illegal to Own a Fox?

Most people are dog or cat people, but some people want something a little more exotic, like a oh, we don't know, a monkey, or a parrot, or hey, how about a fox?

Is it legal to own a fox as a pet?

"I'm going to cut your hair, give you an atomic wedgie, and steal your lunch money! Haha. JK. Smiley face. Smiley face." Did the "JK" and smiley faces make the comment less of a threat?

California judges don't think so. A threat is a threat regardless of smiling emojis.

All those protestors against Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act can put this news in their pipe and smoke it: the IRS has granted tax exempt status to the First Church of Cannabis.

The church had already been recognized as a religious corporation by the state of Indiana and plans its first services for July 1, the day the state's RFRA goes into effect. So will the new law protect toking up in a state that currently bans all marijuana possession and use?

A powdered alcohol drink mix going by the name of Palcohol has been approved for sale in the United States, but at least one senator is trying to rain on the powdered booze parade.

So how close are you to getting your hands on a pouch of Powderita? Let's take a look at the law as it currently stands: