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New Laws Taking Effect in 2012

Not that it was ever in my future plans anyway, but just remind me never to visit Utah.

With a new year comes a clean slate for everyone, a new beginning for all, and new rules for each to abide by.  New state laws across the board will take effect in just a few days.  Most make sense, such as registering murderers on a database similar to your local sex offender registry, or requiring more licensing and background checks for professionals (especially ones dealing with children), increasing the minimum distance allowed between mourners and funeral protestors (take THAT Westboro Baptist!).

But then there are those that are just plain bizarre.  Take, for instance, the new law in Utah that bans happy hour – it’s not exactly banning them per se, but the law makes any daily drink specials illegal, which is essentially what happy hours are all about.  Then again, we’re talking Mormon country here, so are we really all that surprised something like was going to happen?

Then there’s Nevada – home to people from all walks of life and performers/entertainers galore!  Better crack open those books if you’re a fire-breather though, because state law will require EXTRA certification for such a specialty.  Rumor mill has it that the necessary courses will be taught by Fire Marshal Bill.

And then we come to our beloved home state of New York.  For any of you who may have thought we were above the inane and bizarre laws that NEEDED to be written out for others to understand, try this one on that set to debut on Sunday - a new law bans the possession and sale of bear gallbladder and bile, a commodity used in some forms of ancient medicine.  In New York, black bears have been illegally killed for their gallbladders and bile, and the state was one of only five without a restriction on the trade.  So the next time you go to the pharmacy, be sure you ask for the bear-dung free aspirin.

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