Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Judge Judy's Guide to Arizona

Allright, hot shots, I know you're all excited about your trips to the Valley of the Sun to watch the Fiesta Bowl, but the last thing we want is for you to squander your vacation rotting away in the pokey. We want you to have a great time, but you have to be careful out there. To help, we've enlisted the services of Judge Judy to give you the rundown on the laws of the land in Arizona. Enjoy!

Docket Item: Sins of the Flesh

Sadly, gents, there's not much leeway here. If you're not eighteen, you don't party. I don't care how old she looks or how she was able to get into Gilligan's Karaoke Bar, make sure you're checking ID's. Arizona's Title 13 laws stipulate (ref: chapter 14):
13-1405. Sexual conduct with a minor; classifications
A. A person commits sexual conduct with a minor by intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact with any person who is under eighteen years of age.
There is one catch, but it's a long shot. While it is still prosecutable, Arizona law does allow for a defense on the condition that:
Title 13-1407 Paragraph F
F. It is a defense to prosecution pursuant to section 13-1405 if the victim is of the age of fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, the defendant is less than nineteen years of age or attending high school and is no more than twenty-four months older than the victim and the conduct is consensual.
Of course, there's no guarantees, and you still might end up doing some hard time even if this is the case. Your best bet is to keep it holstered, hot shot.

Hands off, stud monkey

The Good News: Well, the good news is that most of Arizona's archaic laws on sexuality have been repealed by a sweeping act of legislation. The bill, HB 2016, passed in May of 2001, stripped the lawbooks of the dated and unnecessary puritan laws that pooh-poohed some of our favorite things. So go ahead and participate in "open and notorious cohabitation", because that's legal now. And for our readers who are, you know, into that, feel free to commit "the infamous crime against nature" (yes, that's how it was worded in Title 13) without fear. If you don't know what that is, ask your oldest unmarried uncle.

Yes, even dogs and cats are allowed to sleep together. Mass Hysteria!

Docket Item: Spirit Quests

Another temptation you're probably best to avoid. While Arizona's laws do give latitude for religious use of the mescaline-infused cactus seeds, you'd better be prepared to provide some proof of your religious affiliation, otherwise it's off to the slammer with the other Schedule I abusers.

Federal Law clearly indicates that Peyote, its seeds, compounds, extracts, or mixtures all fall into Schedule I Hallucinogen territory, meaning it's a big deal. The law does include this exemption, which pretty explicitly lays out its parameters:
Federal Native American Church Exemption TITLE 21-Food And Drugs Administration, Department of Justice
PART 1307--MISCELLANEOUS--Table of Contents

Sec. 1307.31 Native American Church.
The listing of peyote as a controlled substance in Schedule I does not apply to the nondrug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church, and members of the Native American Church so using peyote are exempt from registration. Any person who manufactures peyote for or distributes peyote to the Native American Church, however, is required to obtain registration annually and to comply with all other requirements of law.
Arizona law recognizes this exception, but takes the law a step further requiring a "bonafide proof of religious intent". It's not clear what this means pragmatically, but we're guessing it takes a little bit more than a library card and your claim to be 1/64th Native American.

Docket Item: Gambling

Well, there's good news and bad news. There is legal sanctioned gambling in Arizona, so you can cruise down to the local Indian Casino and toss a few bones down on some hands of Caribbean Stud. But who's interested in doing something boring like that? No, the real reason you flew halfway across the country was to go to a good cockfight. And, mister, prepare to be sorely disappointed. Title 13 clearly lays out its position on cockfighting:
13-2910.03. Cockfighting; classification
(Caution: 1998 Prop. 105 applies)
A. A person commits cockfighting by knowingly:
1. Owning, possessing, keeping or training any cock with the intent that such cock engage in an exhibition of fighting with another cock.
2. For amusement or gain, causing any cock to fight with another cock or causing any cocks to injure each other.
3. Permitting any act in violation of paragraph 1 or 2 to be done on any premises under his charge or control.
B. Cockfighting is a class 5 felony.
C. For purposes of this section and section 13-2910.04, cock means any male chicken, including game fowl except wildlife as defined in Arizona Revised Statutes section 17-101.
And even being present at a cockfight is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Watch out.

Docket Item: Daylight Savings Time

Any mention of Daylight Savings Time is strictly prohibited. It is a Class 5 Felony punishable by a maximum of one hour in prison.

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