The Funny, Wacky and Downright Absurd Laws in Maryland’s History

State of MarylandAbsurd and Sometimes Funny Laws In Maryland History

Combing through various state laws in history, you would be amazed (or maybe not) at some of the crazy laws that have been put into effect over the years.   Most of these laws are no longer active, but it’s fun to look at how we’ve evolved with laws…and to scratch our heads at some of the strange laws that, for whatever reason, have been deemed necessary over time.  We certainly take the law very seriously at Alpert Schreyer, but let’s share a laugh or two over some laws in Maryland’s history that are…ummm…REALLY hard to take seriously.

Here are just a few of our home state of Maryland’s historical contributions to legal absurdity:

In the spirit of Easter, it was once declared a violation of city code to sell chicks or ducklings to a minor within 1 week of Easter.

In the city of Baltimore, you can spit on a city street/roadway, but it is prohibited to spit on city sidewalks.  Also in Baltimore, it is illegal to curse inside the city limits.  Hmmm…can you think of ANYONE who hasn’t done at least one of these two things?

In Columbia, Maryland you may not have an exposed antenna on the outside of your house, BUT you can have a 25′ satellite dish.

It is illegal within Baltimore city limits to throw hay bales from a second-story window.  You can’t throw anything else out of the window, either, but those pesky hay bales are mentioned specifically.

It is illegal in Columbia to have clotheslines.  They are banned; however it’s perfectly okay for you to drape your clothes over a fence.  With the right colors for the right season, you can increase your curb appeal!

Thankfully, for the safety of us all, it is illegal to take a lion to the movies.

Heads up businesspeople:  Don’t sell condoms from a vending machine.  That’s illegal!   Umm…except if the vending machine is located “where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.”

Once upon a time, the Maryland legislature proposed that there should be a board of parachute examiners made up of five licensed parachute instructors.  These 5 instructors would then in turn test and license all the other parachute instructors.  Unfortunately, this proposal had to be abandoned because there were only 3 licensed parachute instructors in the whole state.

Grow grass, fruits, veggies and trees in your yard, but thistles?  Thistles are a no-no and they may NOT grow in your yard.

And finally, in the spirit of spring and summer and the great outdoors…remember when you go to Ocean City that an early 1900’s law states that men may not walk shirtless on the Boardwalk and don’t even think about eating while you’re swimming in the ocean.  That’s a no-no.  Besides, sharks like Thrasher’s fries and cotton candy, too.

Sources:

http://www.dumblaws.com/laws/united-states/maryland

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/top-craziest-laws-still-on-the-books

http://patch.com/maryland/westminster/crazy-maryland-laws-that-youve-probably-violated

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.