Weird News

The Dumbest Laws in the United States: Michigan, Ohio, & Indiana

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Michigan is a lovely state, arguably most famous as the home of the Great Lakes. It is also a state with many strange laws, especially a specific few pertaining to transportation. In Michigan, it is illegal to be drunk while on a train, and cars may not be sold on Sunday. Speaking of Sundays, the last one in June of every year is officially deemed “log cabin day.”

There are myriad laws in Michigan pertaining to the conduct of men and women. For one, adultery is illegal but only punishable if the affected husband or wife files a complaint. Also, men are banned from “seducing and corrupting unmarried girls.” If they do so, they face up to five years in prison.

Not if you’re an unmarried woman, missy!

Animal rights activists will be happy to know that in Michigan it is illegal to kill a dog using a decompression chamber. They would also be happy to know that a law that would have previously angered them has been repealed; at one point, there was a bounty on starlings and crows killed in any “village, township or city” in Michigan. Granted, a three cent bounty (for starlings) and a ten cent bounty (for crows) probably wouldn’t lead many to make them hunting targets, but you never know.

I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting to discover what the dumb laws in Ohio are. Well, the wait is over! Until 2005, breastfeeding was not allowed in public, no matter the state of hunger of the baby. Ohio lawmakers also decided at one point to create a nice and obscure law to make it illegal to “mistreat anything of great importance.” That is quite a subjective term, considering we all generally think of different things as greatly important.

Criminals in Ohio can basically go wild on Sundays and on the Fourth of July. On those days, no civil arrests may be made in the state.

These days, the appearance of food is grossly misrepresented in advertisements and other images. Akron decided to put an end to this by enacting a law banning the display of colored chickens. The city also takes sports safety a bit too seriously and bans skateboarding after dark.

Last but not least in this edition of Dumb Laws in the United States: Indiana. Mathematicians must have argued substantially over when to stop reciting the digits in Pi, as there is a law officially deeming its value as three.

If an Indiana man wants to impress a lady by showing off his macho nature skills, he cannot do so by catching a fish with his bare hands. He also had better not walk around looking aroused–another no-no according to Indiana law.

Lawmakers must really believe into the power of prayer as those who pray for their dependents don’t have to pay for their medical care. And liquor laws in Indiana redefine ridiculous. Looking for a one-stop shop for White Russian ingredients? You won’t find everything you need in Indiana, where liquor stores may not sell milk. You’ll also have to go elsewhere for cold soda as a mixer, since liquor stores there cannot sell that either.

Not if you’re an Indiana liquor store, you don’t!

Marisa Mostek
Marisa Mostek loves globetrotting and writing, so she is living the dream by writing while living abroad in Japan and working as an English teacher. Marisa received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a certificate in journalism from UCLA. Contact Marisa at



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