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Six Things More Illegal Than Watching Kiddie Porn In New York (Yes, Smoking Weed And Farting In Church Made The List)

...which is perfectly legal in New York.
...which is perfectly legal in New York.
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The New York State Court of Appeals on Tuesday determined that viewing kiddie porn isn't a crime. Possessing, producing, and distributing child erotica is still illegal (sorry, perverts), but the court decided that "possessing" kiddie porn and viewing it on the Internet are not the same thing. In other words, just because you saw smut on the Internet doesn't mean it's your possession, and therefore isn't illegal under the current law.

All the justices agree that kiddie porn is pretty disgusting, but the ruling now makes watching kiddie porn perfectly legal in New York, while several other (far-less perverse) activities could potentially get you thrown in jail (as mentioned in the headline, smoking weed and farting in church are on that list).

To illustrate how ridiculous it is that watching kiddie porn is now perfectly legal in New York, below are six things that will get you in more trouble than viewing child erotica.

*Smoking Weed: smoking weed was decriminalized in New York in the 1970s -- but that doesn't mean it won't get you in any trouble. You can still be cited for possessing weed. If you're caught displaying weed in public, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and potentially do jail time. According to weed advocates, the NYPD uses racist enforcement practices when it comes to weed, with 87-percent of those arrested for low-level marijuana crimes being black or Hispanic. Turns out, you're (legally) better off watching kids have sex than you are doing a bong hit.

*Mixed Martial Arts fighting: Despite the fact that it's two consenting adults beating the shit out of each other, MMA fighting was banned in New York in the mid-1990s. Since then, advocates of the sport have lobbied the state Legislature to lift the ban. This year, a lift on the ban seemed promising -- until the state Assembly decided the bill that would lift the ban wouldn't reach a vote this year. So, it's now more illegal to watch two grown men beat the crap out of each other in New York than it is to watch two children having sex.

*Talking On The Phone While Driving: In the government's best effort to protect you from yourself, it's illegal to talk on the phone without a hands-free headset while driving a car in New York. Two weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed police to go gangbusters on "distracted drivers" using handheld electronic devices while driving a vehicle. His crackdown netted 3,172 citations. The kicker: if those 3,172 people cited were watching kiddie porn while driving -- as long as it was on a hands-free device -- they wouldn't have been in any trouble.

*Donating Food To Homeless Shelters: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is actually enforcing a law that prevents food donations to city-run food shelters because the government can't monitor the salt content of the donated food. We developed a theory last month when we first heard about Bloomberg's being a salt bully: homeless people are more concerned with eating in general than they are with how much salt they're consuming. Not-so-shockingly, our theory turned out to be correct: 10 out of 10 homeless people polled agreed that they're more concerned with eating period than they are with their sodium intake. More on that here. So, next time you're compelled to share some food with the less fortunate, just throw on a kiddie porn video -- it will get you in less trouble than being charitable.

*Fortune Telling: Our personal favorite New York "crime" is "fortune telling," which is actually a misdemeanor in the Empire State. A person is guilty of fortune telling "when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer questions or give advice on personal matters or to exorcise, influence or affect evil spirits or curses; except that this section does not apply to a person who engages in the aforedescribed conduct as part of a show or exhibition solely for the purpose of entertainment or amusement." Thanks to the court's ruling, if you foresee someone watching kiddie porn in their future, you're better off watching it with them than telling them about it.

*Farting In Church: A person is guilty of disruption or disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service "when he or she makes unreasonable noise or disturbance while at a lawfully assembled religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service, or within one hundred feet thereof, with intent to cause annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof." Under the law, a fart could potentially get someone charged with a misdemeanor. So, you're better off watching kiddie porn before church than you are eating at Taco Bell.

We could do this all day -- watching kiddie porn in New York is now perfectly legal. Meanwhile, things like adultery, having a police scanner, and any of the other "crimes" in New York's penal code could potentially get you tossed in the slammer.

So, next time you get a parking ticket, keep in mind that you're in more trouble than if you were caught watching kiddie porn.


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