Making It Legal to Touch Bear Cubs–and Other Unusual State Bills

From Nevada to Florida, here are some of the more original bills that state lawmakers currently have on their dockets.

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Daniel J Cox

And now, the latest rundown of some of the more unusual bills that state lawmakers currently have on their dockets.

Michigan: Go on, pet that bear cub. 

A Michigan measure would make it legal for people to have contact with bear cubs in the state—so long as the cubs are under 9 months old or weigh under 90 lbs. The amendment to the “Large Carnivore Act,” introduced by Republican Sen. Tom Casperson, would allow for better photo-ops on the state’s “bear ranches,” businesses that put animals on display for “education or exhibition purposes.” Despite some growling from Democrats, the bill passed the Senate this week. And Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has expressed support for people getting up close and personal with baby bears.

Nevada: Pay attention, pedestrians! 

Most states already ban drivers from texting while they’re on the road. Now Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal for pedestrians to text or browse the Web while crossing the street. While the legislation, introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Harvey Munford, specifies “highways” as the no-texting zones, Munford has said he wants it to apply to all roads, including those in residential areas. Cities such as Fort Lee, N.J., have passed similar bans against so-called “dangerous walking.”

Dyed Bunnies

Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

Florida: Don’t you dare dye that bunny.

In 2012, Florida lawmakers overturned a long-standing ban on dyeing baby chicks and bunnies, a controversial Easter-related activity. But Democratic Senator Maria Sachs is trying to bring it back. Though the bill would outlaw the artificial coloring of any animal, Sachs specifically lays out protections for Easter favorites: rabbits, baby chickens and ducklings. It would also prohibit the sale of such creatures, unless done for agricultural purposes.

North Carolina: Cover up, ladies. 

Following women’s rights rallies in Asheville, at which some ladies got topless, conservative lawmakers want to make it clear that baring breasts amounts to indecent exposure–and is therefore a felony. It’s already illegal to flash one’s private parts in North Carolina. The proposed bill would clarify that “private parts” include parts of the female bosom. During a hearing this week, according to Fox News, one of the bill’s sponsors “said a blanket solution is needed to give law enforcement officers statewide the clear authority to make arrests when nipples are exposed.”

Kentucky: Hemp sandals on the horizon? 

This week the Bluegrass State Senate passed a bill that would regulate hemp if the federal government lifts its ban on the substance. Kentucky was once the nation’s leading grower of the marijuana relative, which can be used to make clothing and carpeting among other things. Republican Sen. Paul Hornback, who introduced the bill, is championing the potential economic impact of the crop, while critics are worried that ganja growers would take advantage of such a measure, sneaking pot plants into hemp fields.

21 comments
Linda_Hill
Linda_Hill

@Politics_PR I RT'd copied/pasted and said: Go ahead, make their days. Who would do this anyway?! I'm waiting for folks to pull back "nubs"

MementoMori
MementoMori

A)  I might be wrong, but wouldn't the North Carolina bill outlaw public breastfeeding? Or did they just not think it through?

B) "When nipples are outlawed, only outlaws will have nipples!" or, if you prefer, "They can have my nipples when they pry them from my cold dead hands!"

MrObvious
MrObvious

 Go on, pet that bear cub. 

It's really the best way to cull the shallow end of the gene pool. I bet that's why they bought some advertisement space on Limbaughs show.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Thanks, Katy. So in NC, do pasties skirt around the new bill by covering up the offending area? Good thing breastfeeding is specifically excluded - THAT is otherwise a lawsuit heading for SCOTUS, though it would be fun to watch Scalia and "Man of 1000 Words" Thomas gawk at pictures of breastfeeding moms.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

I can't remember if it was the Alberta Court of the Queen's Bench (the Provincial "Supreme" Court) or the Canadian Supreme Court but one of them ruled decades ago that banning women from going topless while not banning men was sexism.

Sadly, not many non-activists take advantage of this.

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

Banning bare nipples is stupid. What's next? Illegal side boob? Maybe NC can institute mandatory head-to-toe covering like Saudi Arabia. Lady skin is a sin! 

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

I'm hoping for a bill that will allow me to dye a bear cub. 

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

@MementoMori There's an exception for nursing a bear cub.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@MrObvious  

I have a great idea.  Why don't we send all those Republicans who think this is a damning liberal plot to take away their rights into the woods to go around touching bear cubs.  I think Alaska would be a great place.

I've always felt that bison snatching would be a bad idea too, but then again, hoo the hell am I?

notsacredh
notsacredh

I've seen some man boobs at the beach that were obscene by any definition.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@forgottenlord Indeed, will others challenge the NC bill as discriminatory since it specifically calls out female nipples, but men have them too? Or will everyone have to walk around on sunny NC beaches wearing pasties or T-shirts? I'm glad YOU are posting these items, Katy, talk about laws of unintended consequences.

notsacredh
notsacredh

Nipple police. Ball busters (wear underwear if you wear sweats!). Butt bobbies. I hate to plug the Devil, but check out people at Wal-Mart. Hilarious.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@53_3 @MrObvious We've got our fair share of wingnuts here in the Wolverine state. Snowmobiles and ATVs take a few Darwin winners every year. Getting bears used to the tasty smell of the species Conservitus Ignoramus sounds like a winner to me... 

fitty_three
fitty_three

@kbanginmotown

Hey, that brought me to another great idea:

Why not host wolverine snatching trips for the GOP faithful?  Bare hands, no gloves.  Let's see their manhood.

Or, not...

MrObvious
MrObvious

@sacredh 

I've seen some people at nude beaches.

And that's all I'm going to say.

The scars are still pretty fresh and I don't feel like scratching them.

notsacredh
notsacredh

MrObvious, those puritans that flip out over a bare breast should spend an afternoon at a nude beach. Believe me, a nude beach might be the least sexy and arousing place you could possibly go to. Whatever a person might be expecting when they see everyone else nude, it's not exciting. Almost all of us look better with clothes on.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@sacredh  

I was thinking along more literal lines.  Like say, twin Barettas.

notsacredh
notsacredh

53_3, I must be getting old. My wife and I were out the other night and a younger woman walked by us with a huge rack. I told my wife that I felt sorry for the woman because when she got to be our age, her back was going to be killing her. My wife said she was thinking the same thing.