Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Recently in Strangely Illegal Category

Is There a Safe Haven Law for Wildlife?

We've all seen those Safe Haven signs at Walmart and police stations, making it legal for parents to unburden themselves by dropping off their infants and giving up all parental rights and responsibilities without legal ramification. But is there a parallel for wildlife?

We're already 18 years into the 21st century, and we're still waiting on our personal jetpacks and flying cars. We don't even have a colony on Mars, and the city that helped put a man on the moon is now telling its residents they can't frequent robot sex brothels.

What a buzzkill.

Last week, the Houston City Council updated its rules on sexually oriented businesses, adding "anthropomorphic devices" to the list of banned "adult arcades," which are prohibited from operating within 1,500 feet of churches, schools, day cares, parks, and residential neighborhoods. The council prohibited customers of sexually oriented businesses from using so-called arcade devices on company premises.

Restaurant Treats Lobsters to Marijuana Before Cooking: Health Code Violation?

Philosophically speaking, is it more humane to get a lobster stoned before you steam it to death? Or, similar to Gertrude Stein's famous quote, a death is a death is a death, especially when you are boiled alive.

A 911 call to Volusia County sheriffs on Thursday said it all: "We're at Jungle Hut (Park) and a huge bundle of drugs or something just washed up on the beach and there are people like fighting over it."

Law enforcement along Florida's central coast claim they recovered about 100 pounds of plastic wrapped weed that washed onto area beaches over the past two days. And that's not counting parcels that less upstanding members of the community may have absconded with before officers arrived.

Back in the old days, you'd have to spend a lifetime scouring museums and art collections searching for a face that looked like yours. And you might even go to your grave without finding a match. Luckily for our modern times, there's an app for that.

In December, Google's Arts & Culture app added a feature that instantly pairs your selfie to a work of art. But while this time-saving technological marvel is sure fun to play around with, it might be illegal where you live. Thanks, overly cautious privacy advocates.

While it may not necessarily be worse than selling real drugs, a man was arrested in Tennessee for selling fake drugs at the annual music festival Bonnaroo. Though that in and of itself is not very shocking, like that U2 album that keeps popping up on your iPhone, the man's purpose and the size of his fake stash were rather peculiar.

David E. Brady, a 45 year old from New York, was arrested holding over 1,000 doses of LSD, 22 bags of fake psychedelic mushrooms, 20 bags of fake cocaine, and 37 fake pills of molly, as well as some fake heroin. While his purpose isn't even likely to impress the Blues Brothers, his mock supply would be rather impressive for a Hollywood stage's prop closet. Brady claimed to be doing "God's work."

Conducting science experiments at home is a dying practice among Americans young and old. Over the past few decades, at-home science kits have faced increasing scrutiny and regulation as a result of incidents involving homemade drugs and explosives.

While at-home science kits still exist, they frequently lack many of the most basic chemicals that interested individuals actually need to conduct experiments. This is due not only to the manufacturer's fear of legal liability over individuals using the chemicals to make explosives or cause others harm, but also as a result of laws prohibiting the distribution of certain chemicals and lab equipment.

If you are considering doing some science at home, then you may want to think twice and check your state's laws before getting started. Law enforcement is not kidding around when it comes to this stuff, and have even arrested children for doing science.

Believe it or not, many states have laws that prohibit warming up a car the way most cold weather state residents do it. One Michigan man learned a hard lesson this past week. Nick Taylor of Roseville, Michigan was hoping to avoid freezing his butt off while driving when he decided to warm up his car before leaving his house. Like countless other Americans living in cold weather states, Nick started his car, then went back inside his home to finish getting ready. After a few minutes, he discovered that an officer had come by and ticketed his car.

Nick learned that it is illegal in the state of Michigan to leave a car running and unattended, even if you are just trying to warm it up in your own driveway. Many drivers are shocked to learn that the Michigan law against unattended idling is actually not that unusual. While generally these laws are geared towards preventing car thefts, the anti-idling laws also are seen as emissions friendly laws designed to reduce pollution.

Recently, on the way home from some educational conference in Canada, a small group of travelers got quite a surprise when they reached the border. The group appeared to be in good spirits, and while making witty banter with the border control agent at the US-Canada border, explained that they had bought a lot of those Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs. No one in the group knew that those fun chocolate eggs were illegal in the US.

Needless to say, the border control agent was less than thrilled with the ordeal. Fortunately for the chocolate smugglers, and one random Canadian, rather than do the paperwork, the customs agent let one of the group members walk back over to Canada and give all the Kinder chocolates to someone, and then cross back over.

A Christmas Carol: Was It Legal to Scare Scrooge? (Part II)

Welcome to Part II of this year's review of great Christmas traditions that actually break a lot of laws. In case you missed Part I, this year we examine Ebenezer Scrooge, that " ... grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner" and his brush with a clutch of law-breaking ghosts.

In Part I, we discussed Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Past. Now without further ado, let us pick up where we left of, with the next legally challenged ghost to visit Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas present.