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9 Things Banned In U.S. Cities

I thought this was a free country!

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1. Large Soda Outlawed In New York City / Via

Restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and food carts are prohibited from selling sugar-sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces in New York City.

“This is the single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told the New York Times.

2. Feeding Homeless People Restricted Las Vegas / Via

In an attempt to encourage homeless people to get services elsewhere, Las Vegas made feeding the homeless in parks a crime that could come with up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“Families are scared to go to the park,” City Council member Gary Reese told the New York Times. “I don’t think anybody in America wants people to starve to death, but if you want to help somebody, people can go to McDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken and give them a meal.”

3. Happy Meals Illegal In San Francisco / Via

Restaurants are not allowed to give away free toys with meals that are high in fat and calories in San Francisco. To get around the law, McDonald's offers toys for an extra ten cents. The law also affected fast food restaurants like Burger King, Carl's Jr. and Subway.

"Our efforts are geared towards addressing childhood obesity epidemic," San Francisco City and County Supervisor Eric Mar, who proposed the ordinance, told CNN.

4. Plastic Bags Banned In Portland / Via

Grocery stores are prohibited from using plastic bags in Portland. The only exceptions are for produce, meat and at pharmacies.

"There's no reason for them," bag-ban supporter Mark Gamba told KATU. "We can use other things we've been using. In my family, we've been using canvas bags for 15 years."

5. Cursing Criminalized In Rockville, Maryland / Via

You can curse when no one's listening, but in Rockville, Md., if people hear you in public, it's a misdemeanor.

"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," the law states.

6. Dirty Vehicles Outlawed In Minnetonka, Minnesota / Via

Vehicles with dirty wheels are a public nuisance in Minnetonka, Minn. If they "deposit mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or other material on any street or highway," you could be in trouble.

7. Texting While Jaywalking A Crime In Fort Lee, New Jersey / Via

In an effort to cut down on fatalities, people in Fort Lee, N.J., can be fined $85 if they text while jaywalking.

“We believe you should make eye contact with the vehicles when you’re crossing," Police Chief Thomas Ripoli told ABC news. "Technology is interfering a little bit with the safety of the public.”

8. Snowball Fights Banned In Provo, Utah / Via

Throwing snowballs is a misdemeanor in Provo, Utah. But city officials said the law is a "common sense ordinance."

"If it's a couple of roommates hucking snowballs, I don't think the police care," spokesman Mike Mower told Deseret News. "But if you pummel a sweet co-ed with a big, icy snowball — well, that's not very nice, and we've got laws to prevent against not very nice."

9. Storing Garbage In Your Car Illegal In Hilton Head, South Carolia / Via

The law in Hilton Head, SC., is intended to keep rats from being fed, but it could criminalize the act of leaving a half-eaten burger in your back seat.

The text of the law states it's illegal “to place, leave, dump, or permit to accumulate any garbage, rubbish or trash in any building, vehicle and their surrounding areas in the town so that the same shall or may afford food or harborage for rats.”

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