5 Completely Ridiculous California Laws That Will Shock You

5 Completely Ridiculous California Laws That Will Shock You

California has really been busy on our radar lately. One of its cities approved a ridiculous law last summer, and we found some other laws throughout the state that are also completely irrational. Read them and see for yourself!


Don’t plan to go on any picnics in Riverside. There, it is illegal to carry a lunch down the street between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Isn’t this the peak time for lunch breaks? We doubt police officers really take the time to enforce this, but keep in mind, you’re technically breaking the law if you carry your lunch outside during these hours.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, it is illegal for a man to beat his wife with a strap wider than two inches without her consent. What about a strap less than two inches wide? This law implies that hitting your wife is acceptable, as long as the strap is less than two inches wide. Just to clarify, this is something that we definitely aren’t OK with.


In Carmel, it is prohibited to wear heels that are over two inches high while walking on city streets and sidewalks. The code states the reason for this is to “maintain the charm of the urban forest character of the city.” You must get a permit from the City Clerk to get around this law. How exactly does a heel over two inches high diminish the charm of the city, while heels less than two inches don’t?


Throughout the entire state, it is illegal for a vehicle without a driver to go over 60 mph. This law doesn’t specify if the word “vehicle” is referring to just cars or other types of transportation as well. Either way, it’s awfully concerning that a car can be in operation without a driver, even if it is under 60 mph. Autonomous cars still must be monitored. At this time, only partial automation exists. A driver needs to take over in instances of merging from an on-ramp, sharp curves, or hard braking. Cars cannot fully operate by themselves yet.

San Francisco

San Francisco approved a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products in June 2017, which really caught our attention. The ban is set to take effect in April 2018 and includes flavored e-liquids. Ray Story, CEO of Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, calls this new ban “extremely irresponsible.” This new law says that “flavored tobacco products promote youth initiation of tobacco use.” Story, and companies like Halo, agree that vaping products should not be marketed to kids and should not use packaging with cartoon characters, but we believe that cigarette smokers use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Story calls vaping a form of harm reduction and an effective tool for people who can’t stop smoking cold turkey. Fortunately, the ban may only last for a few months. There are enough people against it that it’s going to be on San Francisco’s June 2018 ballot for a chance to be repealed.

By the way, just because something is flavored, doesn’t mean it’s targeting kids. Liquor stores sell cupcake flavored vodka and wine, but those products aren’t seen as being marketed to kids or receiving any backlash for being flavored. There’s chocolate flavored bourbon, liquor flavored candies, and even dozens of candy-infused liquor recipes. These things aren’t being sold or promoted to kids — adults like sweet things too!

Study after study shows that e-cigarettes are less toxic than regular cigarettes and are a successful tool for smoking cessation. E-liquids are flavored to provide a more pleasant aroma than what comes from burning tobacco. For example, there are peppermint and fruit flavored e-liquids, which again, do not have a goal of promoting to kids. Banning these e-liquids are only causing harm to current smokers who are trying to quit. Story goes on to say, “At the end of the day, it’s an adult product” and taking away something that is proven to be a smoking cessation tool is only putting more lives in danger.

Adding fuel to the fire, the Pasadena Health Department started a new anti-vaping campaign in 2016. Advertisements for the campaign appeared in print and online, and they showed people wearing sheep masks with e-liquid vapor surrounding them. The caption on these ads is, “Don’t follow the herd. Vaping effects are unknown, stupid sheep.” The Pasadena Health Department says the purpose of this CDC-funded campaign is to fight against the increase in e-cigarette sales. This campaign wrongfully attacks vaping and puts it in the same category as smoking. An official for the Pasadena Health Department said the goal of the ads was to emphasis that tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S., but the ads don’t even mention the real problem, combustible tobacco. A study has shown that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than regular cigarettes, but California continues to lie about the facts of e-cigarette use.

Maybe the California Department of Public Health is against vaping because of the Master Settlement Agreement? The agreement was between Big Tobacco companies and 46 U.S. states, and specified that Big Tobacco companies would give money from their sales each year to the states in exchange for them to drop lawsuits against Big Tobacco for smoking-related deaths and expenses. Well, California officials spent that money before they got it. The state sold bonds to Wall Street based on what officials thought the tobacco companies would be paying them, but due to decreasing sales in cigarettes, California can’t pay back the bonds it sold. The use of e-cigarettes is steadily increasing while the use of cigarettes declines. So, California sees the e-cigarette industry as an enemy that is affecting its income. Also, the money California does get from Big Tobacco doesn’t all go to expenses from smoking. In fact, in fiscal year 2005, California distributed 100% of its Master Settlement Agreement money to debt on securitized funds. With all these facts in mind, it appears that state officials in California are against electronic cigarettes because they’re hindering the state’s cash flow, but really, e-cigarettes save lives.

Despite the health risks, one billion people worldwide still smoke tobacco cigarettes. While California is putting money before public health, we’re on a mission to save lives. Help us save a billion lives, starting now! And San Francisco residents, be sure to vote for a repeal of the flavor ban on the June ballot.

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About author

Kendall Davis 18 posts

Kendall is a true foodie. Her hobbies include trying new foods, traveling, and shopping.

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