ONLY ON KOLD: Strange laws still on the books in Arizona

Published: Nov. 26, 2012 at 9:37 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:16 PM MST
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Did you know you can get sent to prison for cutting down a cactus in Arizona?  It's just one of the many strange laws still on the books in our state.

Do you find yourself getting frustrated when you get a speeding ticket?  You swear you were only going a few miles over the posted limit.

What about parking tickets?  A citation for littering or playing loud music and disturbing the peace.

As it turns out, there are worse things you can into trouble for throughout Arizona.

Arizona's history dates back hundreds of years -- to the days the cowboys ruled the land and some of the laws that ruled them still exist.  Some are more recent, but still have people scratching their heads.

Cowboys wore spurs, but not inside a hotel lobby.  It was against the law and in 2012, it apparently still is.

Women couldn't and still can't wear pants in Tucson -- well, according to the law.

Children can't sing nursery rhymes after 8 p.m.

Those are just a few of what many refer to as "stupid laws."

"I don't know why we would want to have that ... doesn't make any sense," said Steve Koyle, senior elephant keeper at the zoo.

Arizona historian Marshall Trimble says, "Another interesting one is you can't have six girls living in the same house and that was to combat the rapid growth of brothels in Phoenix and places like that."

Trimble adds that there are dozens of weird, strange, unnecessary laws in our state.  For example, you can get 25 years in prison for cutting a cactus down.  He believes they exist partly because so many different people came to live in Arizona throughout the years.

"Maybe it's kind of a part of our history because it gives us a little color.  There's one in Prescott -- you can't ride your horse up the courthouse steps which means you can keep your horse in the lobby I guess, but can't ride him up the steps."

And speaking of animals, it's against the law to hunt camel in Arizona.  Well, there are camel in Arizona, but you'll probably find them at the Phoenix Zoo.

Camel ride manager Chester Taylor says the law dates back to the days of the Civil War.

"What I had heard before was that a guy named George Hyjolly brought camels into this region ... they were doing a test for the United States Army ... the military."

It's also against the law for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs and elephants to wear a bell -- to warn the swans of their approach.

"The bells ... that I know of are from the hoots in India ... they have their elephants wear bells, they let their elephants go into the forest at night time," said Koyle.

Here's one for the grownups.  If you plan on taking more than two adult toys with you -- think twice in Arizona.  No more than two are allowed in one residence.

"Our average customer probably has two or three per household," said Fascinations' Jennifer Evans.

There's more -- cars can't be driven in reverse in Glendale.

Cards may not be played in the street with Native Americans.

"I'm a folklorist at heart too ... having been a singer, I like this because it adds character to the people of Arizona," said Trimble.

In Tombstone, Arizona, it's illegal for anyone over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.

In Nogales, the wearing of suspenders is prohibited by city ordinance.  Women could be fined up to $500 and men up to $1,000.

Copyright 2012 KSAZ and Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.