Criminal Law

You Can Get 5 Years in Prison for Selling Llama Poop, and Other Ludicrous Laws

Mike Chase, the man behind the popular @CrimeADay Twitter feed, on his new book, How to Become a Federal Criminal


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You can get five years in federal prison for selling llama poop, according to Title Seven of the United States Code, Section8313(a)(1)(B).

Title 21, Part 139 of the Code of Federal Regulations prohibits the sale of improperly shaped spaghetti noodles.

The Swine Health Protection Act forbids feeding a pig garbage that hasn't been cooked by a garbage cooker with a garbage-cooking permit.

Criminal defense attorney Mike Chase, the man behind the popular @CrimeADay Twitter feed, has a new book titled How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender. It chronicles government power at its most arbitrary and absurd.

Reason's Todd Krainin sat down with Chase to learn the roots of his obsession with laws against improperly shaped cheese, whistling on a CB radio, and making unreasonable gestures to a passing horse.

Music: "Law and Order," by Lloyd Rodgers under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License.

Produced, written, and hosted by Todd Krainin. Cameras by Meredith Bragg and Mark McDaniel.

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  1. Don’t forget blowing on a cheap plastic flute w/o permission!!!

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

    1. So I’ve been doing some research on this Lung Flute thing, and it appears it does not require a prescription under any Federal law (its approved as 510(k) class II device, same as the Acapella one, and several others) and the only reason the company requires a prescription is because the company decided to require a prescription

      1. So if I buy a few or a bunch of them with a prescription… And then donate or re-sell them w/o a prescription on the part of the buyer / recipient… Can I be prosecuted, or not? Or, if I buy them w/o a prescription, from someone who bought them with a prescription, can I be prosecuted, or not?

        Also, WHY is it that ONLY in the USA, does this seller require a prescription? In all other nations, the seller somehow mysteriously has more sense, and does NOT require a prescription? WHY would that be?

        1. PS, I chose this “lung flute” years ago as an example of how Government Almighty treats us like babies. Letters to editors, Congress-slimes, etc. … I finally got a Congress-slime to write to the FDA, and some lady at the FDA replied to me (through the Congress-slime) that the FDA had determined that we stupid dumb squats would vastly benefit from a Doctor’s professional supervision for this dangerous device… Or words to that effect. Had it been the seller (not the FDA) making this stupid decision, I’d make a huge bet, the FDA would have passed the blame here…

        2. No, you can’t be prosecuted because there is no law requiring a prescription, you can check the FDA 510(k) approval yourself, it has the exact same approvals as the Acapella device you can buy without a prescription. Both are approved to have prescriptions written for them (for insurance coverage purposes) so its possible that the Lung Flute company chooses to only sell to those customers in the US, or perhaps they are under a different state-level regulation (in which case perhaps you can be prosecuted under the state law, if you distribute them in that state)

          FWIW there are foreign retailers that sell the Lung Flute back into the US on eBay, with no state-level restrictions

  2. The garbage cooking one isn’t quite as broad as it seems. It applies only to meat garbage (and meat-contaminated garbage) and only to buying garbage from elsewhere to feed your pigs (you can feed pigs your own household food waste with no problem)

    The reason is to prevent the transmission of diseases like hoof and mouth disease, although considering we hadn’t had an outbreak for over 50 years before the law was passed, I’m not quite sure it really requires federal oversight

    1. you can feed pigs your own household food waste with no problem

      We must close the household food waste loophole!

      1. Gotta love the “findings” section justifying the Swine Health Protection Act

        (7) it is impossible to assure that all garbage fed to swine is
        properly treated to kill disease organisms unless such treatment
        is closely regulated;

        1. What was the justification for why the government needs to assure that all garbage fed to swine is properly treated? Is there some law that requires some department to do this?

          1. Absolutely!! WHERE in the COnstitution do FedGov find or create the DUTY to regulate any aspect of growing or raising or keeping pigs? Or for that matter, any item or device we use inside, outside, next to, on, under, our bodies?

            Where are those specific umbrae and penumbrae where their vain and useless imaginations “find” that duty?

            Or did they simply pull that one out of one of their many bodily orifices?

    2. Make pig toilets great again!

  3. just before I looked at the paycheck four $6755, I accept that my friend could realey making money in there spare time online.. there friend brother haz done this less than 22 months and resently cleard the morgage on their appartment and purchased a great new Acura. I went here,

    1. You Sevo’ed the link, bot.

    2. Selling llama poop?

      Maybe I should look into this.

  4. You can’t sell llama poop but you can shape it into comments on Reason.

    In legal circles, this is known as the Kirkland loophole.

    1. I thought it was the Tony amendment…

      1. That only covers bat crap.

  5. The possession and trade of ambergris is prohibited by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The law is lower than whale shit which is where ambergis comes from..

  6. his discussion on federal prosecutors is a good reminder that you should never, EVER, talk to cops. Especially feds.

  7. > under a Public Domain Mark 1.0 License.

    WTF? There’s no such thing! A work int he public domain needs no license and is in fact un-license-able.

    The Creative Commons Public Domain Mark is NOT a license, it’s merely a statement that the work contains no license-able work.

  8. I’m glad Reason is fighting the Good Fight against anti-llama-poop-laws! Where would libertarianism be without such dedicated “libertarian” journalists!

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