Sometimes the government oversteps the boundaries of what most people would consider to be reasonable, usually when a small but vocal minority get upset about a specific issue. While many of these regulations are laughable, they have often had real impact on real individuals and families. The great writer Neil Gaiman once said the following in his blog, “The Law is a huge blunt weapon that does not and will not make distinctions between what you find acceptable and what you don’t. This is how the Law is made.” Case in point, 25 Stupid Government Regulations That Will Make You Shake Your Head.
Rain falls from the sky, freely. Some local or state governments have a problem with that. In 2012, a man in Oregon was sentenced to 30 days in jail for collecting rainwater on his property (in a pond). In the state of Oregon, the government owns the rain, and you have to have a special permit to collect and hold it. Other states have laws against rain barrels, which is a huge plastic barrel, usually with an attached filter, that's used to collect rainwater and then water gardens. The important thing to note is that the government can't charge for rainwater freely collected.
Even front yard lemonade stands aren't immune to over-regulation. Sorry, kids. They count as a business, and you need a permit for that, and professional equipment, and a stand that's up to local building code. To sell lemonade. There are numerous stories of this happening all over the country, but one with a sweet ending is Annabelle Lockwood, of California, who was told she needed $3,500 of professional restaurant equipment and a permit. A go fund me was set up, and the internet paid for the permit, but think of all the better things $3,500 could have been spent on.
There is a processed FrankenMeat known as Turkey Ham. It's processed bits of Turkey and Ham smushed together. And it's illegal to sell it with a label of "Ham Turkey" or to have the words "Ham" and "Turkey" in different fonts. Yep. Not just illegal, it's a FEDERAL crime.
It's a federal crime to consult with a known Pirate. A person known to be a pirate, not necessarily a person actively in the act of pirating.
Florida (uh, accidentally) banned all computers and smart phones in cafes. There's a problem in Florida with internet cafes basically being digital slot machines for old people to pour their money into. In an attempt to curb these questionable businesses, the state government passed a bill banning all internet cafes (this was great for students and people without computers, thanks), and because of the way the bill was worded, it banned any internet connected device in a cafe. Um, if you're ever in a position to pass a law, anywhere, please read it thoroughly. Twice.
Photos: 23. CC BY 2.0, 22. CC BY 2.0, CC BY 2.0, 20. mercurywoodrose via wikimedia commons, 17. Ildar Sagdejev (Specious), 2008-07-12 Durham recycling bins at the curb, CC BY-SA 4.0, 1. Myke2020 (talk) (Uploads), Big gulp6480, CC BY-SA 3.0