The Utah legislative session came to a close earlier this month, and many of the issues of the table were ones for which the public was anxiously awaiting an answer from their government. The answer to whether some forms of legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, where the new prison should be located, and whether providing insurance coverage for Utahns who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level would be a responsibility that falls to the state. A good Utah attorney pays attention to the outcome of these legislative sessions, regardless of whether she has clients whose cases could be influenced by the decisions—but to those lawyers and the public who were paying attention, there were some laws that seemed a little…well, you decide.
1: NO FISHING WITH GUNS, FIRECRACKERS OR ELECTRICITY. Or any other explosive device. Or poison or any other chemicals. If you’ve got a creative and curious angler-minded nephew, you might want to keep an eye on him lest you need to call up the professional advice of a Utah attorney after he takes his bow and arrow down to any Utah waterway and tries to catch a fish. Oh, except carp—since “it is now legal to use a crossbow to take carp at any open water stateside,” but not any other species of fish. Maybe keep the dynamite out of reach, too.
2: DO NOT ALTER THE WEATHER WITHOUT A LICENSE. Ok, this one isn’t as bizarre as it sounds, and refers mostly to cloud-seeding, or any act “undertaken to artificially distribute or create nuclei in cloud masses for the purposes of altering precipitation, cloud forms, or other meteorological parameters.” Maybe the state has experienced issues with wackos changing the weather in the past…
3: NO RIDING WITH NO HANDS. Seriously, is the government stealing our childhoods?! Now taking your hands off the handlebars of your bike is illegal, and while doing so might not end you up in court before a judge and Utah attorney prosecuting a case against you, you could probably end up with a ticket. And a broken arm, which is more expensive.
4: NO DISCRIMINATING AGAINST MILK AND BUTTERFAT BUYERS. A Utah attorney specializing in business litigation may be chuckling on the inside about how now businesses who “unfairly discriminate” against buyers of milk, cream or butterfat could face a class B misdemeanor charge, but it’s not about spending $2 for your cereal’s accompaniment as much as it is about market control. Sargsian might point to how the law could be interpreted to prevent a business from creating a monopoly or destroying competitors by “purchasing those commodities at a higher rate or price in one community or city” than another, or underselling to its own advantage.
And finally, this takes the cake: 5: NO CAUSING CATASTROPHES. This could be a felony—and it’s not like losing your high heels on a date night out downtown. More like being irresponsible in Utah’s backcountry and causing an avalanche. Other potential catastrophes include using weapons of mass destruction, explosions, fire, flood or collapsing a building. None of these are good ideas. This new law is pretty prudent and useful, after all.
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