June 16, 2024

12 Weird Michigan Laws That Are Outdated and Strange

The state of Michigan is well known for its natural beauty, but it’s also known for some weird Michigan laws. Breathtaking lakes surround it, and it has long been a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. Michigan shares borders with Canada and the American states of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

Laws Differ Widely

Those living in the USA will be well aware that laws can vary massively between different states –even those right next to each other. For example, in Virginia, it’s illegal to release helium-filled balloons into the sky, but step over the border into Tennessee, and you can release up to 25 of them!

All states have laws and regulations that differ from their neighboring states, and Michigan is no different. It’s always handy to know exactly what you should and shouldn’t do, as nobody wants to wind up on the wrong side of the law.

So, read on to discover some of the most important – and weird – ways that Michigan stands out from the states around it.

Michigan Laws About Online Casinos

In 2019, Michigan passed a law to allow internet games and virtual betting. This is great news for those who love the thrill of the casino, as this fun pastime can be accessed from any location and on any device.

Currently, virtual betting is illegal in both Indiana and Wisconsin. Sports betting online is legal in Ohio, but if you were to look for an Ohio-based site, you’d come up empty-handed – there aren’t any just yet.

If you’re after some virtual casino action in Michigan, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Players can pick from bright and colorful slots, exciting roulette, live dealer blackjack, and video poker, to name just a few.

Sports fans can spice up their sports-viewing experience with extensive sports betting options.

Unique Michigan Laws Regarding Marijuana

In the United States, the laws surrounding this popular medicinal and recreational herb can be complicated and they differ from state to state. These variations in law can sometimes get people into trouble, especially if they’re from out of state. 

Those visiting the USA from other countries should be particularly aware of local rules, as breaking them could possibly result in being denied entry to the USA in the future. That being said, the state of Michigan generally allows anyone over 21 to buy marijuana as long as the amount being purchased doesn’t exceed the permitted limits. This applies to marijuana being bought for either medicinal or recreational use.

Laws in the neighboring states of Indiana and Wisconsin are a little stricter. It’s considered illegal to possess cannabis, with the possibility of a large fine, or even time behind bars. Medicinal marijuana is allowed in the form of CBD oil, so long as it contains low levels of THC.

In Ohio, medicinal marijuana is allowed and the punishment for those caught in possession of it for recreational use is a lot more lenient than in Indiana or Wisconsin. 

Weird Michigan Laws Regarding Driving

It’s pretty useful to know the local rules of the road, especially for insurance purposes. Young drivers can get their learner’s permit in Michigan at the age of just 14 years and nine months. They can then obtain their full license at 17. This differs from Ohio, where you must be 18 years old to possess a full license.

On some rural freeways in Michigan, drivers can go up to 75 miles per hour, whereas the speed limit in all three bordering states is just 70. 

What Are the Weirdest Laws in Michigan

Photo by Erik Mclean

There are some truly strange and weird Michigan laws in place, and here’s a rundown of just a few of them:

  • Don’t try selling your car on a Sunday – it’s not allowed! That goes for buying and trading, too.
  • You shouldn’t cheat on your spouse regardless of where you live, but in Michigan, you could be punished by law if charges are filed.
  • If you’re a passenger on a train, it’s illegal for you to be drunk. This law has been in place since 1913.
  • Those living in the city of Detroit should take extra care of their old radios because destroying one on purpose is illegal!
  • Also, in Detroit, make sure your pig has a ring in its nose, or it won’t legally be allowed to run free in the city.
  • “Log Cabin Day” was officially established by law in Michigan in 1989, to take place on the last Sunday of June every year. This cheerful law offers the state’s residents a great chance to celebrate Michigan’s thousands of log cabins and their historical importance.
  • According to Michigan law enacted in 1931, “No man may seduce and corrupt an unmarried girl. Any man who shall seduce and debauch any unmarried woman shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than five years or by a fine of not more than 2,500 dollars…” An even stranger part of this law was there would be no persecution until one year after the law was enacted. We guess the state wanted a debauchery grace period.
  • Any person 12 years and older can have a license for a handgun so long as that person has not been convicted of a felony. We wonder if this law has ever been applied to a 12-year-old.
  • In Detroit, having sex in a parked car is illegal unless it’s in your own driveway.

Michaela Nolte

Michaela is a history buff and loves to export historical markers and old buildings and seeks stories about Michigan and Great Lakes history. When she is not writing, you can find her with a good book sipping wine on the beach.

View all posts by Michaela Nolte →
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