by Benn Ray
There are a number of new laws in Maryland that go into effect on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.
CELLPHONES: Drivers are already prohibited from using hand-held cellphones, but now police can stop them for that offense alone.
Get ready to hear a bevy of complaints from relatives and friends about being ticketed for unsafe driving practices.
GUNS: New bans on the sale of certain assault rifles and requires a license and fingerprints to purchase handguns.
Get ready for for complaints from your NRA-inclined friends and relatives who think it is their constitutional right to own weapons of mass destruction so they can somehow keep the full force of the American military in check. Extremist gun rights groups have already sued to block this law.
DEATH PENALTY REPEAL: No one else can be sentenced to death in Maryland.
This law won't help the five men currently slated to be executed by the state. And prepare for the FOX News-impaired folks in your life to complain about how Maryland it coddling murderers even though there is no evidence to suggest the death penalty is a deterrent, and there is evidence to suggest they we may have executed innocent people (AKA murder).
NEWBORN DRUG EXPOSURE: Health care practitioners involved in delivering babies are required to report when newborns have been exposed to illegal drugs.
I imagine this will lead to an increase in dangerous, unsupervised homebirths within a drug-using demographic.
DEFIBRILLATORS AT POOLS: All public swimming pools are now required to have defibrillators and have staff trained to use them in medical emergencies.
What could possibly go wrong when you have a device designed to give intense electrical charges near water?
SEAT BELTS: Seat belt fine violations have increased, and backseat adult passengers are now legally required to wear seat belts.
Expect seat belt ticketing to increase since it generates more revenue for the state, and you'll have a lot of friends shocked that they got pulled over and/or ticketed for not wearing a seat belt in the backseat.
SHARK FINS: Prohibition on possession, sale and distribution of shark fins in an attempt to protect the threatened species.
Sometimes foodies can be dicks.
CYBER-BULLYING: Also called "Grace's Law." It prohibits the use of social media to harass minors.
I'm thinking the enforcement of this is going to be a mess.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Baby steps. This law allows for limited marijuana distribution from a select few academic medical centers.
Anyone I know have a prescription? Just askin'.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM: This was designed to close a loophole allowing contributors to avoid limits by giving through many corporate entities.
It'd be better if we just banned all corporate "entities" from making political donations.