It's the Law... No, Really: Strange Business Laws in Maryland

Laws, for the most part, make sense. They are in place to keep society civil and all of us safe. Despite this, across the country, especially at the state level, there are a number of utterly bizarre laws on the books that serve zero purpose and are practically impossible to enforce. Many are remnants of our nation's colonial history - artifacts of a time when such mandates might have made sense. But not all of them are. Some are relatively contemporary, and the reason for their existence is nothing short of a mystery.

So many states have strange laws on the books, and Maryland is no exception. The mid-Atlantic state has a number of ridiculous laws that deal with both business and personal concerns. Here is a quick guide to some of the very strangest decrees:

  • Within Baltimore city limits, it's illegal to throw bales of hay from any second story window, reported. Hay throwing enthusiasts needn't despair though - first, third or fourth story windows are fair game.
  • Throughout the entire state of Maryland, men are prohibited from buying female bartenders a drink, explained.
  • Maryland summers are notoriously sticky, but that didn't stop this strange law from getting on the books. According to, it is against the law to wear sleeveless shirt in any public park in the city of Baltimore. The fine for this transgression is reportedly $10.
  • In Rockville, Maryland it is against the law to curse while on the highway. So it's probably best to keep the road rage in check!
  • This law definitely makes sense and should be a no-brainer. What makes it odd is its specific nature: In Baltimore, it is illegal to bring a lion to the movie theater, stated.
  • Cleaning enthusiasts look away. In Baltimore it is categorically illegal to clean any sink, ever, no matter how dirty it is.
  • Puritanical Halethrope, Maryland isn't a great place for new couples. In the city it is illegal to kiss for longer than one second, reported.
  • In Baltimore it is a violation of the law to sell chicks or ducks to minors, specifically within week of the Easter holiday. The rest of the year is okay though.
  • Psychics of Caroline County, Maryland beware! Predicting or forecasting the future is illegal, and the penalty is $100.
  • When moving house in Baltimore, keep any boxes off the sidewalk, because it's illegal to block any pathways with boxes. This is one transgression that is affordable though - the fine is just $1.
  • According to, it is illegal to have thistles growing in any private yard across the state.
  • This law is perhaps the least strange of the list, as it carries some practical value. In Maryland, all seafood restaurants are required to recycle their oyster shells. This is due to an initiative that restores oyster beds in the Chesapeake Bay area.