Weirdest Laws In Arizona

The 48th state to be admitted into the United States holds a storied history that ranges from geological marvels to Wild West outlaws. While the Grand Canyon and the antics of all the true-life characters from films like "Tombstone" might be among the first things that pop into your mind when someone mentions this state, Arizona is a lot more than canyons and Hollywood revisionist history. 

Per The Fact File, Arizona boasts a 50,000-year-old meteor crater that NASA used for training astronauts for the Apollo mission moon landings. The largest astronomical observatory in North America can be found atop a peak in the Quinlan Mountains, while the two largest human-made lakes in the United States, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, also call Arizona home.

A state full of quirky tourist spots that are sprinkled in between the popular destinations of the Grand Canyon and the Sonora Desert, Arizona is also home to some of the weirdest laws you could think of. Let's take a close look at some of the oddest ideas lawmakers had in the history of the Cotton State.

Better let folks hydrate

Whatever you do, don't spit on the ground in the city of Goodyear. Local laws prohibit one from spitting in any public place, including, but not limited to, sidewalks, roads, walking paths, stairwells, and from bridges. According to American Courthouse, such an offense could land you in jail for up to six months and be subjected to a fine of up to $2,500. 

The officials in this state love their cacti, so much that they have a series of laws protecting them. A state law passed by the legislature makes it unlawful for you to dig up a cactus that is on public property. If that cactus happens to be a Saguaro, you can be sentenced to a prison term of up to 25 years. 

In Mohave County, you'd better make use of any bars of soap that you might steal. Here, you'll purportedly be forced to use any stolen bar to wash yourself until it is used up (via Stupid Laws). Glendale makes it illegal to drive a car in reverse for long distances. Thinking about refusing someone a glass of water? Think again. Doing so in this hot state will get you a major fine.

Camel hunting is prohibited

Some of the weirdest laws in Arizona involve animal life. For example, it is supposedly considered a punishable offense if you decide to hunt a camel. If camel hunting isn't your thing, you should know the law of the land before you get an elephant. Reportedly, all pachyderms in this state must be fit with bells around their necks so that any nearby swans can be warned should they be approached (via Stupid Laws).

In the town of Prescott, you can be fined if you ride a horse up (or down) the courthouse steps. In Hayden, apparently bothering bullfrogs will get you into a heap of trouble.

At least one law regarding animals, while seemingly weird at the outset, honestly had a great reason for being passed. Since 1924, donkeys are not allowed to sleep in abandoned bathtubs. This is supposedly based on an incident in the town of Kingman, where a rancher had a donkey that enjoyed napping in an old bathtub that was on the property. When a nearby dam failed, the donkey reportedly set sail down the flooded valley. The ensuing rescue of this farm animal cost the local taxpayers so much money that they demanded a law be passed to keep this from happening again.

Lawbreakers must leave the red mask at home

Of course, there are some laws that regulate what a person can and cannot wear. According to Stupid Laws, in the city of Tuscon, women are not allowed to wear pants in public. In the town of Nogales, neither sex can wear suspenders in a public space. Women who violate this law face a fine of up to $500, while men can get hit with up to a $2,000 charge.

If you want to commit any crime in Arizona, be mindful of how you cover your face. Should you be wearing a red mask, the crime you commit, no matter how small, will be automatically upgraded to a felony. There's also a law in the state that makes it a punishable offense if you have less than one missing tooth in a photo. This law is on the books in the town of Tombstone and only applies to persons over the age of 18. 

Take off those spurs before you go into the Holiday Inn

When examining some of the weird laws in Arizona, you can spot some that were probably passed during the Old West days in the state. During such times, lawmakers in many states tried to combat sex work by going after the very homes that housed them. Officials reasoned that if they legally could limit the number of unrelated women in a house, they would eliminate brothels altogether. Arizona lawmakers made it illegal for any house to have more than six unrelated women residing in it. And yes, this law is still on the books (via Stupid Laws).

Globe, Arizona, purportedly has a weird law that will get you into trouble with local authorities if you play cards in the street with a Native American. No word on whether you'd be able to move the game to a nearby sidewalk or not. Finally, state law prohibits walking through the lobby of a hotel while wearing spurs.

Fortunetellers be forewarned

Every state has weird laws that are still on the books, and Arizona has proved itself to be no exception. While some of the odd laws and ordinances can be traced back to a useful and justifiable cause, there are plenty that we've found that are just bizarre on their own accord. Whether it's banning singing in public while wearing a swimsuit or forbidding children from singing nursery rhymes after 8 p.m., you have to admit that some maybe shouldn't have been on the books to begin with (via Stupid Laws). 

American Courthouse also points out one law that makes it illegal for anyone to engage in fortunetelling. While many states have similar laws, history tells us that such restrictions are traced back to state and local officials attempting to cut off traveling Romany from one of their most lucrative forms of income (via Los Angeles Times). 

The law is alive and is constantly changing to fit the needs of the people it is meant to govern. While most of the laws still enforceable do fit the latter description, many of the ones mentioned in this article show the need for lawmakers to take a closer look at revising laws and ordinances and perhaps striking some altogether.