A longing look at 2011's lost liberties

Shit that got banned
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 21, 2011

You might already be outraged over San Francisco's Happy Meal ban. Likewise, if you watch a lot of cable news on your commute, then you're probably familiar with the National Transportation Safety Board's looming ban on all cell phone use while driving. As any conservative will tell you, we're essentially living under Sharia law. Just look at the current war on Christmas, which dangerously echoes Pakistan's recent ban on texting the words "Jesus Christ." And those are just some of the freedoms that were stripped in 2011. Here's our annual list of lost liberties that you might have missed.


Earlier this month, Delaware enacted a state law that prohibits pharmacies from dispensing opiates through drive-up windows. Was the First State being deluged with drive-by holdups? Nope — in fact, the ban was opposed by Walgreens, who figured they stood to lose revenue. Instead, the ban came after lawmakers found that their surveillance cameras weren't good enough to capture the identities of customers in the drive-through lane — a group of mostly law-abiding citizens, sprinkled with a handful of mobile cons who cop Oxy the way the rest of us buy cheeseburgers.


Sorry, trees: paper bags are about to get more popular. In towns and counties from Aspen to LA, this year environmental groups successfully pushed legislation to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, and are currently moving to enact such measures at the state level in California, Oregon, and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, back East, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo green-lit a seemingly impossible-to-enforce ban on throwing out rechargeable batteries. Refuse: consider it resisted.



Looks like we'll all be switching back to actual weed next year. As of last week, Chicago's ban on synthetic pot — generally sold as "Spice" or "K2" — is in effect, with all of Illinois heading down the same path as about 40 other states. Fake-meth fans are also in big trouble, as a federal bill that just passed the House will add so-called bath salts and other over-the-counter tweaker aids to the Schedule I section of the Controlled Substances Act.


The above will be bad news for people like the bath-salt aficionado in West Virginia who recently stayed up three days getting hella wired, then dressed in women's underwear and gutted his neighbor's pygmy goat. In better news: all kinds of drugs are still legal in Amsterdam, where the Dutch Senate recently withdrew a bill that would've banned ritual animal slaughter. Guess where that guy's going for Spring Break?

exotic pets


In Ohio this fall, Terry Thompson celebrated his impending suicide by releasing nearly 50 lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and monkeys into his backyard — leaving state police to gun many of them down like some crazed suburban version of Wild Kingdom. Ohio lawmakers, reacting to the rampant threat of suicidal big-game enthusiasts, said: never again. A state task force has recommended that all private ownership of exotic animals be made illegal.

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