List of strange state laws on the books in Oregon. These rules and regulations were passed by the Oregon state legislature, or in an individual Oregon city, and for one reason or another, were never overturned, remaining active on the books until this day. Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned or even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, the laws appeared in the books following a court ruling on a specific case, that then set a common law precedent from that point on.
Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor, online and more generally in popular culture. TV shows like "The Simpsons" have had a lot of fun with the notion of small towns having peculiar regulations on the books. (In one episode, Mayor Quimby is surprised to find out the town charter mandates that all ducks wear long pants.)Often, "dumb laws" as reported on websites and in humor books have been shown to be inaccurate. This sometimes happens because a real, sensible law has been exaggerated or misunderstood, turning into something that sounds silly or ridiculous. Other times, it is simply the result of a hoax being repeated enough times to gain some kind of credibility. If you think any of the laws on this page are not accurate or do not remain active in Oregon, let me know in the comments below.
BabiesBabies may not be carried on the running boards of a car.
Physical enduranceOne may not test their physical endurance while driving a car on a highway.
Human fecesIt is illegal to place a container filled with human fecal matter on the side of any highway.
DoughnutsYou cannot eat a doughnut and walk backwards on a city street. (Marion)
MarijuanaIt is illegal to buy or sell marijuana, but it is legal to smoke it on your own property.
Horse race or Symphony concertIt is illegal to conduct a horse race or a symphony concert. (Eugene)
Peer Review StatuteThe “Peer Review Statute” prohibits you from finding out details of any written or oral discussion about your medical treatment.
Classical ArtworkAn adult may not show a minor any piece of classical artwork which depicts sexual excitement.
Roller SkatesYou cannot wear roller skates in restrooms. (Portland)
Whistling underwaterPeople may not whistle underwater. (Portland)
Knocking snakes headIt’s illegal to walk down a sidewalk and knock a snakes head off with your cane. (Klamath River)
Pumping of gasDrivers may not pump their own gas.
ShoelacesShoelaces must be tied while walking down the street. (Portland)
Dirty thingsIt is illegal to whisper “dirty” things in your lover’s ear during sex.
Cloth towel dispenserCloth towel dispensers are banned from restrooms. (Stanfield)
Animals having sexIt is against the law for animals to have sex in the city limits. (Stanfield)
Canned cornCanned corn is not to be used as bait for fishing.
Riders of sledsRiders of sleds may not attach themselves to passing cars.(Portland)
Eating garlic and onionsMinisters are forbidden from eating garlic or onions before delivering a sermon. (Marion)
Social gamesMinors may not enter a room where a “social game” is being played. (Portland)
Predicting the futureIt is illegal to predict the future. (Yamhill)
Owning a reptileIt is illegal to own a reptile within the city limits, unless you are a school or city, as a pet. (Springfield)
Offensive physical contactNo one may attempt to cause someone to think that their property may be subjected to “offensive physical contact”. (Portland)
JugglingJuggling is strictly prohibited without a license. (Hood River)
Skating rinkIt’s against the law for a wedding ceremony to be performed at a skating rink. (Portland)