The 8 Weirdest, Strangest, and Stupidest Laws in Maryland

The ‘Old Line’ state is well known for its fishing industry. Its annual catch of seafood, from blue crabs to oysters to rockfish, is worth more than $50 million. Francis Scott Key, the man who composed the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ was a poet, lawyer and author from Frederick, Maryland.

What most people, perhaps even Marylanders, don’t know is that the state has a couple of weird laws drawn from various county jurisdictions. For instance, in the city of Rockville (the county seat of Montgomery County), it is illegal to swear while on the highway.

Below is a collection of eight strange laws from the state of Maryland.

1. Body studios are illegal

In the city of Baltimore, it is against the law for any person to operate, conduct or maintain a body studio. We could not come up with a clear definition of what a body studio is. If anyone knows what it is, please let us know.

When starting a business in Maryland, you need to understand the rules that the state imposes on businesses. Perhaps these guides on how to start an LLC in Maryland and how to find a great registered agent in Maryland can help you avoid any legal issues when opening or doing business in the state.

2. Don’t swear while on the highway

According to the city of Rockville’s municipal code Sec. 13-53, “A person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway.” 

Any person found violating this rule is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine not exceeding $100 or imprisonment for 90 days or both.

3. Vagrancy is not allowed in city parks

Baltimore has banned all ‘tramps and vagrants’ from city parks. The ordinance defines ‘tramp’ as, “a person who roves for begging purposes,” and a ‘vagrant’ as an “idle person who is able-bodied living without labor.” The fine for disobeying this park rule is $50.

4. Don’t knock stones in public parks

Another park rule this time from the city of Cumberland is that it is illegal to “ knock or throw any stones or other missiles into or upon any public park or playground of the city or engage in any games or play likely to be dangerous to persons visiting therein.”

5. Clotheslines are prohibited

In the community of Columbia in Howard County, clotheslines have been banned for a while now. However, hanging your clothes on the fence is perfectly okay.

6. Don’t swim in public fountains

According to this law from the city of Rockville, “A person may not wade or otherwise immerse any part of his body in any City-owned fountain or pool, except in pools constructed, operated and maintained for the purpose of swimming.”

7. The parachute law

Some time back, Maryland lawmakers decided to come up with a board of parachute examiners made up of five licensed parachute instructors. The five instructors would, in turn, test and license all the other parachute instructors. However, they were forced to shelve their plans when they realized there were only three parachute instructors in the entire state.

8. Condom dispensers are not allowed

In Baltimore, it is illegal for a business to own a condom vending machine. However, this law does not apply to places “where alcoholic beverages are sold for consumption on the premises.”


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