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In the course of legislative history research, odds are you’re going to come across some bizarre, zany, silly, and downright weird legal statutes. Though the previous generations probably had some kind of logical, legislative intent behind these strange legal statutes, they will nonetheless make you do a double take.

Here are a some of the most bizarre legal statutes in New England that are still on the books today!

Connecticut.

Connecticut forbids town records from being kept where liquor is also sold. Police can also stop cyclists that are in excess of 65 miles per hour, which at that point should be more impressive than illegal, really. Connecticut’s legal statutes also dictate that for a pickle to officially be a pickle, it must be able to bounce.

Maine.

In Maine, church-goes need to bring firearms, like shotguns, to their masses just in case Native Americans attack. Maine’s legal statutes also won’t let you step out of an airplane mid-flight. And after January 14th, authorities can fine Mainiacs for not having taken down their Christmas decorations.

Massachusetts.

If you weren’t sitting down already, you may want to, since Massachusetts is chock full of zany legal statutes. First of all, it’s illegal to give hospital patients beer. Speaking of booze, candy in Massachusetts can’t have more than one percent of alcohol. After all, they take their food pretty seriously. Not only do they restrict what goes into candy, but it’s also illegal to put tomatoes in clam chowder. However, this love of food has to be kept in check, since people mourning at a wake aren’t legally allowed to eat any more than three sandwiches. If you think that all these food laws are unjust, you’ll be shocked to learn that gorillas aren’t allowed in anyone’s backseat.

Rhode Island.

Did you know that it’s illegal to bite off someone’s leg in Rhode Island!? You’re also not allowed to race your horse or test your steed’s speed over any public highway. That’s okay though, since you can get your sports fix most any other time of the month–unless it’s Sunday. Doing any labor, work, game, or sport will result in a fee of five dollars for the first offense, and $10 for the next! Well, unless it’s ice polo or hockey, which need a license to be played on Sundays.

If your legal research has turned up any bizarre legal statutes that weren’t included in this list, please feel free to share in the comments!

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