Strange But True: Obscure Mass. Laws

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Scales Of Justice
The scales of justice weigh hundreds of laws each day in Massachusetts. Here is a peek at some of the more obscure rules on the books in the Bay State.
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You're not going to get a buzz off of rum cordials sold in local stores. Candy can't contain more than 1% alcohol by Massachusetts law. (Photo by CBS)
Chocolates You're not going to get a buzz off of rum cordials sold in local stores. Candy can't contain more than 1% alcohol by Massachusetts law. (Photo by CBS)
Did you know... it is illegal to dance on Sunday -  unless, of course, you are folk dancing or square dancing. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)
Breakdancing Did you know... it is illegal to dance on Sunday - unless, of course, you are folk dancing or square dancing. (Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to sing only a portion of 'The Star Spangled Banner' in public. So make sure you're committed to finishing the song once you start it. Note: it's also illegal to dance to it. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
US Flag In Massachusetts, it is illegal to sing only a portion of 'The Star Spangled Banner' in public. So make sure you're committed to finishing the song once you start it. Note: it's also illegal to dance to it. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Spitting on the sidewalk is not only gross, but it's also illegal in Boston. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Sidewalk Spitting on the sidewalk is not only gross, but it's also illegal in Boston. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Did you know... in Massachusetts it is illegal to sell rabbits, ducks, or chickens that have been dyed a different color. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Peeps Did you know... in Massachusetts it is illegal to sell rabbits, ducks, or chickens that have been dyed a different color. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
A City of Boston ordinance makes it illegal to harrass someone in public with a laser beam. Take that Darth Vader. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Laser Lights A City of Boston ordinance makes it illegal to harrass someone in public with a laser beam. Take that Darth Vader. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
No cows allowed! In the 1830s it became illegal to let your cows or sheep graze on Boston Common. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Boy And Cow No cows allowed! In the 1830s it became illegal to let your cows or sheep graze on Boston Common. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
In Boston, it's illegal to play ball in the street. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Basketball In Boston, it's illegal to play ball in the street. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Keep your mule at home, unless you work on the first floor. It is illegal to keep a mule on the second story of a Boston building (unless there is more than one exit). (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Two Mules Keep your mule at home, unless you work on the first floor. It is illegal to keep a mule on the second story of a Boston building (unless there is more than one exit). (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Partying with the sick is discouraged. It's illegal to give beer to hospital patients in Massachusetts. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Cheers Bar Partying with the sick is discouraged. It's illegal to give beer to hospital patients in Massachusetts. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
While you're on the Common, make sure you don't walk, stand or sit on the grass without a proclamation from the mayor. Also no lying or sleeping on the benches without Mr. Mayor's approval. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Boston Common While you're on the Common, make sure you don't walk, stand or sit on the grass without a proclamation from the mayor. Also no lying or sleeping on the benches without Mr. Mayor's approval. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Freedom of speech aside, Massachusetts General Law makes it illegal to reproach Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Way Of The Cross Freedom of speech aside, Massachusetts General Law makes it illegal to reproach Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Practicing your shot on a target that looks like your ex may help with stress relief, but watch out for the cops. It's against the law for shooting ranges to set up targets that resemble human beings. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Shooting Range Practicing your shot on a target that looks like your ex may help with stress relief, but watch out for the cops. It's against the law for shooting ranges to set up targets that resemble human beings. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
The Cold War is over, but it's still against the law in Massachusetts to be affiliated with the Communist Party. (Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)
Communist Party The Cold War is over, but it's still against the law in Massachusetts to be affiliated with the Communist Party. (Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)
Hold your horses! It is illegal to drive a horse-drawn carriage through snow or ice with fewer than three bells attached. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Horse And Buggy Hold your horses! It is illegal to drive a horse-drawn carriage through snow or ice with fewer than three bells attached. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

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One Comment

  1. LT says:

    Nice picture, but I’ve yet to find the palm trees in Boston. Almost as rare as finding a new sidewalk. LT

  2. SL says:

    You forgot some really good ones let me add them for you

    Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.

    All men must carry a rifle to church on Sunday.

    It is illegal to go to bed without first having a full bath.

    No gorilla is allowed in the back seat of any car.

    Children may smoke, but they may not purchase cigarettes.

    It is illegal to play the fiddle.

    Two people may not kiss in front of a church.

    You can find many many more on dumblaws.com which is where i got all of these

  3. FrankTrades says:

    You forgot the Mass. healthcahe insurance law.

  4. Bill Smith says:

    That’s because it’s impossible to get a mule to walk DOWNstairs, I believe.

  5. PondyCopper says:

    I fully support the law against spitting on a sidewalk. It’s so gross especially this time of year when that nasty salive freezes for weeks on end.

  6. Ron says:

    If you enforce the no spitting law, Chinatown will be empty in a week.

    Can I turn myself in for the no walking, standing, or sitting on the grass in the Common? I’ve committed that violation LOTS

    1. Jackabilly says:

      Mmmmh!
      fried dog, pigs face and spit, lets go to china town, all streets of it right now!!!

  7. Kim Kaplan says:

    New Pledge of Allegiance

    I pledge Allegiance to

    the flag of the United States

    of Sodomites to the degenerates

    for which it stands one Nation

    Under Sodomy with Liberty

    and Justice Only for Sodomites.

    1. Michael S Young says:

      Really?

  8. Chris Jones says:

    It’s illegal to make clam chowder with tomatoes (obscure law, but not dumb, IMO).

  9. wondering says:

    why does the picture with the two mules have a Chicago police car in it?

  10. Marie says:

    Re: “it’s still against the law in Massachusetts to be affiliated with the Communist Party.”

    I guess the next time a someone claims that another politician is a communist or subjecting us to communism we can tell him to call the police to have him or her arrested. Or stop hyperventilating.

  11. Tintin says:

    Why did HP put a picture of CPIM (Communist party of India – Marxist) supporter’s photo in a section on strange MA laws????

  12. Rob Cleary says:

    How can you have a law against communism and not arrest every Democrat in the State?

  13. Mauricio says:

    I enjoy reading your internet site. Thanks for your time!

  14. Liza says:

    I appreciate perusing your websites. Cheers!

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