Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Who said there are no dumb laws in Arizona?

Butch Meriwether
Butch's Brew

Some people have indicated they think the new concealed weapons law sitting on the governor's desk for her signature is moving us back in time to the Old West.

I don't believe we are digressing just because the law will allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Remember, felons and other less desirable people will still not be allowed to carry a weapon.

The main things that will occur because of the new concealed weapons law are criminals will think twice about attempting to rob someone because they don't know if their target is carrying a gun.

I predict the crime rate in Arizona will plummet dramatically when that law does go into effect. Most criminals don't have a death wish.

But, I have to admit in our lovely state, certain counties and towns have passed stupid laws in the past that should have been taken off the books a long time ago. These laws usually aren't acted upon, but they are legal, binding and can be enacted upon if a law enforcement officer wants to do so

Here are a few to think about:

Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony. This law goes back to the Old Wild West days.

There is a possible 25 years in prison for cutting down a cactus. The Saguaro cactus, treasured by Arizonians, has been endangered by those who find pleasure in shooting or cutting down cacti. Thus, a law was passed to protect the cactus, but that doesn't preclude me from wanting one in my front yard.

Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs. This law is based on a 1924 case where a merchant's donkey started sleeping in an old bathtub that was supposed to be filled with his drinking water. When the local dam broke a flood ensued and the donkey was washed away in the tub. The tub and donkey survived the trip down the valley for a mile until the water receded. The law was passed because several of the townspeople signed a petition against such a thing after they had to wrestle the donkey and haul the merchant's ass back to his house.

It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine. Imitation cocaine is when someone takes a substance resembling cocaine (white and powdery) and passes it off as real cocaine.

When being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same type of weapon that the other person possesses. I'll guarantee you that if someone attempts to hurt me with a knife, I'll violate this law by squeezing off a round or two, and I'll aim at center mast.

In Globe, AZ, cards may not be played in the street with a Native American. Please ensure they produce their identification before they are allowed to gamble.

In Hayden, AZ, if you bother the cottontails or bullfrogs, you will be fined. That's nothing to croak about.

In Maricopa County, no more than six girls were allowed to live in any house. The law was originally designed to prevent brothels, but lawmakers did not foresee changes in society, such as girls living together in a sorority house. The law has since been repealed.

In Mesa, AZ, it is illegal to smoke cigarettes within 15 feet of a public place unless you have a Class 12 liquor license.

In Nogales, AZ, an ordinance prohibits the wearing of suspenders. Sorry big guys who have problems keeping their pants up without suspenders; you're out of luck!

In Prescott, AZ, no one is permitted to ride their horse up the stairs of the county courthouse. Darn, in Mohave County, you can't bring your pitchfork into the county administration building as a form of protest.

In Tempe, AZ, one must be 18 years old to buy spray paint. I do believe that is the law in most parts of the state and that's to help curtail "tagging" and graffiti.

In Tombstone, AZ, it is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling. It's obvious the author of this particular bill never traveled through parts of Mohave County such as Golden Valley, Bullhead City, Mohave Valley and areas of Kingman. Just because someone is missing a few teeth doesn't make them a bad person.

In Tucson, AZ, women may not wear pants. Does this mean women's pantsuits are illegal?

Hunting camels is prohibited. The U.S. Army once experimented with camels in the Arizona desert and eventually gave up. The remaining camels were set free, and are now protected, but I doubt any of them or their offsprings are still roaming the desert. Yep, camels were among us in Mohave County at one time.

It is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water. During the summer with temperatures reaching more than 120 degrees, often people will need water but may not have the money to pay for it. This law mainly applies to homeless. Hence, the law was instituted and is very much in effect today, with businesses being reported (and heavily fined) who refuse to supply water to those who ask for it. Convenience stores are the primary businesses who uphold this law.

You may not have more than two dildos in a house. I wonder how they enforce this law because I don't believe there are any "dildo police" running all over the place looking for violators. If law enforcement personnel kick in the door of someone's home looking for more than two dildos because of a tip from a nosy neighbor, would that be unlawful search and seizure? Please wear latex gloves when gathering the evidence.

In Glendale, AZ, it's illegal to drive your vehicle in reverse. I wonder if you back out of your driveway, can you get a traffic citation?

In Mohave County, a decree declares that anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it is all used up. I guess that means there are lot of clean criminals.

And last but not least, Mohave County has instituted the "fashion police patrols" at the main county complex in Kingman. All participants and attendees at the Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting shall be dressed appropriately. Dress which is deemed disturbing and distracting is inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Who is the judge and fashion patrol police? I would say that what is deemed disturbing and distracting to one person may not be to another. The new dress code spells out clothes and appearance must be safe and not disruptive to the board. This dress code includes, but is not limited to (I wonder who the fashion police are who will determine if a cute little spaghetti-strap sun dress is illegal?) the following the basic guidelines adopted by the BOS: Midriff/Stomachs are to be covered at all times. No halter-tops, tank-tops or muscle shirts are to be worn. Backs are to be covered at all times. Does this mean a very nice low-cut backed dress is illegal? No miniskirts or short-shorts allowed. With religious and medical exception, no hats, headscarves, headbands, or kerchiefs may be worn. Shoes must be worn at all times. I wonder if flip-flops or sandals are allowed. No exposed underwear is allowed. Clothing that advertises substances (drugs, alcohol, tobacco products) or language or writing that is otherwise inappropriate or offensive (sex, profanity, racial or ethnic slurs, gang-related attire, etc.) may not be worn. Tattoos that display language, writing or caricatures of the items listed above must be covered.

I honestly can't figure out why a dress code had to be instituted for the BOS meetings. I think the worst, if that is what you want to call it; I saw was a guy that had a shirt that was missing the sleeves. The shirt was clean and appeared to be pressed.

We live in the hot-aired desert and may not be able to afford to wear Armani suits, Prada, Anika Brazil bathing suits, Gucci shoes or have a gold Rolex watch around our wrist. But if the attendees of the BOS meetings wear clean and appropriately sized clothing, there shouldn't be a problem.

Could the new dress code just be a slap on the wrist or punishment for those who have challenged rules and regulations within the county? You be the judge of that!

It appears legislatures, both locally and statewide, sometimes go out of their way to enact laws they really didn't think about before suggesting them. Do we really need more dumb laws or would it be best to get rid of some of them that are currently on the books?
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