Weirdest Laws In Maryland

Maryland has its share of peculiarities. From housing dollhouse dioramas of death and tooth jukeboxes (via Hotels) to having a hankering for Old Bay on everything, Maryland natives could come across as a bit eccentric to out-of-towners. But if you think the residents in the Old State Line are odd for jousting in the streets and drowning their fries in malt vinegar, wait until you get a load of the legislators and their take on what should and should not be against the law.

As you might have guessed, Maryland has instated some pretty weird laws over the years, and given how many of them are still on the books, we can't expect this trend to end anytime soon. In short, if you're really into thistles or tossing bales of hay from windows, and you're prone to cursing on the highway, you might want to steer clear of the Maryland state line. Incidentally, if you do violate any of these offbeat bits of legislation, you might find yourself in a courtroom with a judge whose cloak is the shade of a Coca-Cola can (via MD Courts). Not to judge, but here are some of the strangest laws in this state.

Absolutely no lions at the movies

A roaring theater crowd is no place for a lion, according to Maryland legislators (via Our Community Now). Clearly, in this state, the main attraction needs to be onscreen at all times. While wacky in nature and strange to the ear, most would agree that a hungry lion stalking the aisles of the local cinema is a terrible idea. One might only ponder what disaster inspired this weird law to begin with.

For the record, according to Animal Law, the 2014 Animal Welfare Act prohibits the ownership of big cats like lions, tigers, and snow leopards for most residents anyway. However, if you somehow manage to bypass Section 7 U.S.C. ยง 2131 by acquiring the necessary Class C Exhibitor's License and you have your heart set on bringing your lion to the movies, don't even attempt it. There is a whole separate law banning lions from the movies in Maryland.

Keep your language clean

Cursing is illegal pretty much everywhere in Maryland, so if profanity spews from your lips when you're stuck in a traffic jam or waiting in a long line with an impatient toddler at your side, you might want to sit this state out (via Stupid Laws). In order to prove how serious they are about swear words, there are several state laws that punish profane language in a wide variety of ways.

For example, section 13-53 (a) of Rockville's penal code prohibits profanity on or near a street, sidewalk, or highway, as well as within earshot of any passing person. Cumberland takes this one step further, prohibiting profanity on all playgrounds and in public parks. If you make it all the way to Baltimore with your vulgar language still intact, don't think this is the place to finally let loose. According to state laws, cursing is illegal everywhere within the Baltimore city limits.

Keep your sink as filthy as possible

In Maryland, the language might be clean but the sinks? Well, they are absolutely filthy. Just take a moment to envision a cesspool overflowing with grime, clumps of toothpaste, chunks of debris, haphazard fingerprints, long, spiraling hair clogging up the drain, you get the idea. This is what every law-abiding citizen's sink should look like according to Maryland's legislative masterminds.

According to Our Community Now, scrubbing your sink is a totally illegal practice in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. If you're following local legislation to the letter, you are well within your rights to turn those filthy faucets on, so long as you do not partake in any of that scrubbing nonsense. This law is surely one of the most unhygienic on the books. You might even say it's awash! Silly as this law seems on the surface, let's just hope it's not enforced in any of the famous Baltimore restaurants.

Refrain from chucking bales of hay out of second-story windows

We know what you're thinking. This is a very apt description of your Saturday morning plans. After all, who doesn't dump bales of hay onto passersby from second-story windows from time to time? No worries, though. According to Stupid Laws, this legislative gem is unique to Baltimore alone and appears to only restrict hay throwers within city limits.

Interestingly enough, the law also very specifically prohibits the hurling of hay from second-story windows. In other words, if you really need to toss the hay immediately, and you don't have time to drive it to a neighboring suburban town, you might consider climbing one flight up or down the stairs. There do not appear to be any restrictions on hay chucking from the ground floor or even the third or fourth stories, which could arguably be perceived as more dangerous.

Of course, if you want to get technical, there are other laws that make it illegal to throw anything at all out of a window and for good reason. Why this law focuses so heavily on bales of hay is unknown.

No throwing stones or missiles in a public park

If you don't like these laws, you can kick rocks. Just don't try that stuff in Cumberland. It's very much against the law there. Stupid Laws reports that this stone throwing prohibition is listed in Section 15-53 of the Cumberland penal code. In essence, it bans the launching of any dangerous object, from stones to missiles to just about anything in between, within the bounds of Cumberland parks and playgrounds.

The thing that makes this law particularly strange is the lumping together of missiles and stones, effectively making pebbles appear as perilous as explosives. It is also illegal to knock such objects into the playground from outside the fence, or to engage in games law enforcement might perceive as dangerous. So, if you happen to be hanging out in any public park or playground in the humble city of Cumberland, you are already a stone's throw away from getting arrested.