January 5, 2024 | Grace Cameron

Facts About Things You Won't Believe Are Legal

Is that permissible? Uh yes. The law, despite being upstanding and illustrious, is fickle. Societies change, and it's astonishing what was once permissible in so-called civilized society. Conversely, some countries and states simply don't always have the time to update all their laws, leading to some strange current permissible practices out there. Here are 20 things you won't believe were (and are!) still permissible.

Disclaimer: Just because something is permissible by the written word of the law, that does not mean it's an OK thing to do. Use common sense, respect the safety of others, and treat people with kindness.

1. High Times

A substance previously known as "Methedrine" was once officially approved by the FDA and could be found in pharmacies. Interestingly, many substances now regulated were once not only viewed as acceptable but were also extensively distributed.

Won't Believe Are Legal

2. Can You Just Leave a Package Slip?

It was once permissible to mail children through the post—although really only because no one had thought of it. At the time, the post only had weight limits, and there are several stories of quick-thinking families who sent their children through the mail rather than shell out for train tickets.

Legal FactsFlickr

3. Castration Normalization

Castration was once a perfectly normal and permissible thing to do, which is why we had the Eunuchs and Castrati. Homosexuality was also frequently dealt with using chemical castration; the renowned computer scientist Alan Turing chose this alternative over facing a sentence of incarceration.

Legal FactsShutterstock

4. Family Ties

It’s permissible to marry your first cousin in Washington D.C., New York, New Jersey and 17 other states.

Legal FactsPxHere


5. A Bottle of Brew

In 2001, Belgium toyed with idea of making it permissible for school children to drink light brew in a state-sponsored move meant to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks and, in turn, childhood obesity.

Legal FactsShutterstock

6. Fire Away

Once you get permission from the aeronautics division of the Department of Commerce, it’s perfectly permissible to fire a missile in South Carolina. If you don't get permission? It's only a $100 fine.

Boardwalk at Kiawah Island, South Carolinakmm7553, Adobe Stock


7. Up in Flames

Under US federal law, it’s permissible to buy a flamethrower.

brown wooden gavelEKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA, Pexels

8. Backyard Target Practice Area

Besides engaging in activities with a weapon on a public street or over a house with inhabitants, until 2016, Florida law allowed you to use small arms in your backyard.

Shooting Target Paper on a wooden stand in Grayscale PhotographyTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

9. Mommy, Can We Get a Tiger?

Nine US states allow residents to own large cats, primates, and bears.

Legal FactsPicryl

10. Bestiality

While it may not be encouraged, four states and the District of Columbia do not outlaw bestiality.

Dave Bautista factsPicryl


11. Images of Male Anatomy

In 2014, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that sending unsolicited images of your personal anatomy through text is perfectly permissible. The ruling came after a man sent a snap to a married mother. Bonus fact: he had the phrase "“STRONG E nuf 4 A MAN BUT Made 4 A WOMAN" tattooed down there.

Legal FactsPxHere

12. Night Driving with Sunglasses

It's permissible—and cool—to wear sunglasses when driving at night in Washington state.

Legal FactsShutterstock

13. Religious Persecution

In 2017 in Arizona, a man won the right to wear a colander on his head for his driver's license photo. The man identifies as a Pastafarian of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a satirical religion that pokes fun at other religions; the colander is a part of his religious beliefs.

Legal FactsShutterstock


14. Child Bride

A 13-year-old girl can legally get married in New Hampshire. A boy, however, has to wait until he's 14.

Legal FactsShutterstock

15. Marriage Bed

Until 1993, it was permissible in some states for men to engage in intimate relations with their wives without consent.

Legal FactsGetty Images

16. Incarcerated Birds

Since extramarital intimacy is against the rules in Dubai, a rapist and his victim could be held accountable in the same manner.

Mistaken Identity FactsShutterstock


17. Wife Beating

A husband can legally beat his wife in Arkansas, according to a law passed in the 1800s. Don't worry though, he can only do it once a month.

Worst Airplane Experience FactsShutterstock

18. Guess it's Upper Body Day

In Hong Kong, a wife may legally neutralize a cheating husband, but only if she can do it using solely her bare hands.

Legal FactsShutterstock

19. System of Beliefs

Atheists are barred from holding public office in seven U.S. states.

Legal FactsShutterstock


Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5