Strange Massachusetts Laws Still On The Books
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Strange Massachusetts Laws Still On The Books

Massachusetts is such an old commonwealth, one of the original thirteen colonies, that clearly, there isn't time enough to clean up some of the older laws on the books. Some laws, if you were to go back to the beginning of Massachusetts' colonization, are old common laws from England, our mother country. These were the basis of our laws. Its probably odd to those of you who didn't grow up there or live there at length, but there is no hunting on Sundays and many cities and counties still observe Sunday "blue laws" that prohibit the sale of liquor on Sundays. I guess Massachusetts' remains true to honoring the sabbath day, Sunday. After all, witches are still banned from Massachusetts and its illegal to be an atheist, or to reproach God there!

Here are some highly entertaining and just plain weird laws that although obselete, obvious, or unnecessary, for some reason are still on the books as "the law" in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  These are interesting, because as we know, most laws are created, because of some presidence.  This probably means some weirdo tried doing whatever it is that is illegal in the law stated in the "law books" of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

1.  In The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its illegal to give beer to hospital patients.

2.  At a wake, mourners may eat no more than three sandwiches.

3.  All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday.

4.  Children may smoke, but it is illegal for children to purchase their own cigarettes.

5.  Alcoholic beverages are illegal in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

6.  It is illegal in The Commonwealth of Massachusetts to scare a pigeon.

7.  Goatees are illegal unless you obtain and pay for a license to wear your goatee in public.

8.  It is illegal to deficate on your neighbor in Massachusetts.

9.  Anyone who wishes to rob a band needs to receive written permission from their doctor.

10. One cannot spit on the sidewalk in Massachusetts.  Its illegal. 

11. False teeth must be removed during sexual intercourse.

12. Defacing a milk carton is punishable by a $10 fine in Massachusetts.

13. Its illegal to take a lion to the movies.

14. In Boston, its illegal to bathe unless your doctor gives you a prescription.

Interestingly enough, the next law contradicts the one above directly.

15. In Boston, its illegal not to bathe before going to bed.

16. Christmas has been illegal in Massachusetts since 1659.  If you celebrate Christmas, you will be fined five shillings. 

Good luck finding shillings in 2012.

17. Quakers and witches are banned from Massachusetts.

Tell that one to the Wiccans walking around in their cloaks on Halloween in Salem.

18. Dogs are forbidden from riding in ambulances.

19. In Boston, duels can be carried out to death on Sunday as long as the governor is present.

20. Roosters may not go into bakeries.

21. In Marlboro, Massachusetts, squirt guns are illegal to be bought, sold, or owned by anyone.

22. In Boston, its illegal to play the fiddle.

23. In Marblehead, Massachusetts, its illegal to cross the street on Sunday unless its an absolute necessity.

24. Stopping for red lights is not required by law unless they are flashing.

Good luck attempting that one.

25. Native Americans were banned from the Boston city limits until a few years ago.

26. No gorillas are allowed in the back seat of cars.

27. Swearing is illegal inside city limits.

28. Bullets may not be used as currency.

29.  In Boston, you can take no more than two baths in one month within the confines of the city.

Boston must have smelled much worse than it already does when this law was strictly enforced.

30. Its illegal to hang a vending machine on a utility pole.

Massachusetts is such an old commonwealth, one of the original thirteen colonies, that clearly, there isn't time enough to clean up some of the older laws on the books.  Some laws, if you were to go back to the beginning of Massachusetts' colonization, are old common laws from England, our mother country.  These were the basis of our laws.  Its probably odd to those of you who didn't grow up there or live there at length, but there is no hunting on Sundays and many cities and counties still observe Sunday "blue laws" that prohibit the sale of liquor on Sundays.  I guess Massachusetts' remains true to honoring the sabbath day, Sunday.  After all, witches are still banned from Massachusetts and its illegal to be an atheist, or to reproach God there!

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Comments (6)

Huh. Many drivers don't stop or pull over for flashing red lights either. Good article.

So, I guess this means you can't give a wiccan a bathe to see if they float or sink without a doctor's note. Voted!

Every state has these old laws and if I lived near the capital in my state, I'd volunteer to help revise or get rid of these laws. I think it would be interesting work.

Entertaining indeed, imagine if thy tried to enforce some today!

It would be a smelly place, Kimberley, haha!  Sandy, that would be fun.  You would then get to see all the strange and obsolete laws, interesting!  No, Scottie, the Wiccans aren't allowed in the city limits, and nobody is allowed to bathe, but if you are to break the law, you can't bathe in Boston more than twice a month with a note from your doctor.  I hope your doctor isn't a Quaker.  Then, how would you get a note.  I'm glad I moved to New Hampshire, Irene, but people have an issue with directionals here, haha!

-24. Stopping for red lights is not required by law unless they are flashing. -Good luck attempting that one. Don't worry we do.
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