8 Baffling Washington laws that are actually real - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

8 Baffling Washington laws that are actually real

Washington, being the capital of the melting pot that the US is, has always been the place where everything happens. So, from the most regressive to the most progressive, it has seen it all. And it is no wonder that the laws reflect this because they are what human beings think at a particular point in history. Which is why knowing about them is so interesting. Read on to know about 8 very weird laws in Washington that still exist.

1. It is illegal to poach Bigfoot

Even though it does not exist yet. Washington happens to be one of the most progressive states when it comes to animal rights. The first Bigfoot sanctuary came into existence in 1991 in Whatcom country when it declared its approximately one million acres of land official Sasquatch Protection and Refuge Area.

This was because the lawyers understood that if and when the Bigfoot was actually found, it would be an extremely endangered species and thus in immediate need of protection. In fact, the Skamania County has considered poaching the Bigfoot to be a crime since 1969 and till date, it has a provision for a $1000 fine.

2. Animals and Transportation

But it gets really weird when, for instance, you need to have a minimum of 6 drovers in charge of the sheep crossing a bridge between 6 and 10 in the morning while also ensuring that a third of the bridge roadway is kept sheep-free. Also, it is illegal to ride an, urm, ugly horse, and any freight carrying horse-drawn vehicle needs to have an effective brake.

3. The Law Expects Motorists to Declare Criminal Intent

And finally, what do you do to tackle ever increasing crime rates? Well, nothing actually, if you can’t be any better than those behind this Washington law which states that any motorist with criminal intent is bound by the law to stop at the limits of the city before entering it and telephone the chief of police to declare themselves. Yes, we felt sad too upon knowing of this law’s existence. we doubt PrisonFinder would reveal anyone convicted under this today.

4. Dancing Could Be Tricky

Some of these laws might as well be considered conservative today. For example, it is illegal to hire women to dance with men. While this might have had its practical uses once, today it makes the dancers earning their living go through a lot of unnecessary trouble.

But then there is some compensation in terms of protection still – in an adult entertainment establishment, a dance, exhibition or performance has to be carried out in such a way as to keep a distance of at least 4 feet between the torsos of the performer and the person for whom the performance is being held.

Speaking of dancing in the public, and also other acts like racing and holding contests, they can’t last for more than 12 hours in any consecutive 24-hour period. Also, people can’t dance, sing and even whistle anywhere near what might be considered ‘a public convenience station’, and least of all within the Jefferson Memorial.

5. Keep Moving!

Washington really takes being stationary at a spot seriously. For starters, you can totally enjoy your right to free speech in the public, including preaching and lecturing. But you can’t do that for more than 30 days at a stretch in a single location. Then, in the District of Columbia, you can’t click pictures at a single location on the sidewalks and at other public places while standing longer than five minutes.

6. Swimming Isn’t Always A Leisure

In the Spokane River, there is an area where one is not allowed to swim in. As wearing a lifejacket indicates an intent to swim, you cannot wear one, and in fact have any swimming, diving or flotation gear on you, while you are on this restricted section (which you should not be in in the first place).

7. Oral Sex – Illegal?

You can’t perform oral sex in Washington. The law doesn’t state anything about getting it done on you. But you can’t have the genitals of another human, or any animal for that matter, inside your mouth.

And since we are at this, it also should be mentioned here that in Spokane (this place seems to top the list when it comes to weird laws in Washington), you can’t kneel on a pedestrian skywalk.

8. The Uncommon Law About Common Cold

You can’t walk the streets if you have a common cold. While unwilling schoolkids may like this, it is weird to have to miss, say an important meeting, because the law says so, no? Actually, the law is well-meant. It states that any person with a contagious disease who intentionally exposes themselves, or any other animal with a contagious disease, to a public place (including other people), is liable for prosecution. That common cold qualifies as a contagious disease is the viruses’ fault, really.

Till 2001, it was illegal to breastfeed in public. Thankfully, it not only was repealed, today those wishing to do so are rather protected by the law. We have come far. But some weird laws are fun – it is illegal to have, yes, lollipops in Washington.


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