Legally Weird: Strange Local Laws Archives
Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strange Local Laws Category

Alabama Authority Proposes Baggy Pants Ban Because God

God is talking to authorities in Alabama about fashion. A Dadeville councilman is proposing a dress code that bans baggy pants because "I prayed about this. I know God would not go around with his pants down."

Colleagues supported Frank Goodman's proposal, introduced at a Dadeville City Council meeting last month. But this week, one council member concerned about fairness added a new wrinkle to the dress code proposal, local paper Alex City Outlook reported.

The American Beverage Association is suing the city of San Francisco over a law requiring warning labels on sugary beverages. The lawsuit relies on a unique argument: the First Amendment.

This raises the question: can you use free speech principles to shut somebody up?

9 Weird Alcohol Laws

Want to hear something surprising? The United States once prohibited the sale of alcohol!

Well, that's probably not surprising. But, while prohibition went out the window in 1933, many states still have some pretty odd laws about alcohol on the books today.

Here are nine weird state alcohol laws.

Medical Pot for Pets? Nev. Legislator Wants to Legalize It

We thought the weirdest pet marijuana story was the "stoner dog" story from 2012. Veterinarians in Colorado said they were seeing increased cases of dogs high on marijuana after eating pot brownies their owners have left laying around.

Certainly some of those dogs needed marijuana for medical reasons, though, right? Dogs suffer from some of the same pains in old age that humans do. Why not ease their symptoms? That's what a Nevada state senator wants to do: Legalize medical pot for pets.

A Georgia man will serve 30 days in jail for starting his trash collection route too early. Apparently, Kevin McGill violated an ordinance in Sandy Springs, Georgia, limiting garbage pickup to the hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

McGill works for Waste Management Inc., and began collecting trash just after 5 in the morning last month.

An Ohio veteran has been cited for violating a county ordinance, all because he was keeping 14 "therapy ducks" in his backyard.

The Coschocton Tribune reports that Darin Welker, 36, was fined $50 for keeping his feathered friends, which he claims "help him cope with post traumatic stress disorder and depression" after his tour in Iraq. The local judge was unsympathetic, telling Welker that if the law says no ducks, "then there are no ducks."

Is there anything Welker can do to keep his therapy ducks?

This Lady Got Jail Time for Not Mowing Her Lawn. Seriously.

Keeping a well-manicured lawn is important for property values, appearances, and good old-fashioned neighborly manners. It might even be required by your neighborhood home owners' association. But is not doing so a crime?

Apparently, in Tennessee, it can be. Karen Holloway, of Lenoir City, was given a five-day jail sentence because she failed to maintain her lawn to the level required by a city ordinance. After an appeal, which included arguments about her right to counsel, the sentence was reduced to six hours, reports Knoxville's WLTV.

But still: Six hours in jail for not cutting the grass? Apparently so.

Burning Man is almost upon us, and eager Burners may not know a few very important legal facts about partying on the Playa.

For many, Burning Man is a symbol of freedom from authoritarian rule, social restrictions on dress, and inhibitions regarding drug use. But while it may feel like a pocket universe, it's actually still in Nevada... in the United States. And it's still subject to many laws.

So don't be a legal sparkle pony, know these five Burning Man legal facts before you hit the Playa:

An Ohio vet's unconventional form of therapy is ruffling some legal feathers: He's been cited for owning therapy ducks.

Iraq veteran Darin Welker of West Lafayette is facing a minor misdemeanor for owning 14 ducks, despite the fact that he claims they are therapeutic for his PTSD and back injury. The Marion Star reports that while the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) was willing to pay for Welker's back surgery, it didn't cover any physical or emotional therapy.

So what legal quack said it's wrong for Welker to keep his therapy ducks?

Low-income residents of Berkeley, California, may soon have a chance to score some free weed from medical marijuana dispensaries, thanks to a pending change to the famously liberal city's pot laws.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, Berkeley's City Council approved a first reading of amendments to the city's medical marijuana ordinance. Among the proposed changes: to require at least 2 percent of medical marijuana dispensaries' "green" medicine to be given away at no cost to low-income members. "The pot has to be of good quality too," the East Bay Express reports.

But before you pack up your pipe and hitchhike to Berkeley, let's go over the details of this free medical weed ordinance.