This Week in Bans: No Pets for You in Huntington Beach

Also, the Netherlands bans tourists from purchasing marijuana (yes, really), and one Indianapolis contractor gets a visit from Johnny Law.

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Welcome back to our weekly look at what's been outlawed in cities across the world (last week's edition here):

PURCHASING PETS, IN HUNTINGTON BEACH

Do you love stopping outside the window of your nearest pet store to gaze longingly at the tiny, adorable puppies and kitties available for purchase? Then you're a horrible person! So says the city council of Huntington Beach, California, which voted this week to ban the sale of pets within city limits. The measure is designed to punish retailers that procure their warm, fuzzy wares from inhumane puppy mills; pet stores will still be allowed to sell animals as long as they come from "reputable shelters or rescue organizations." The Orange County Register reports that the law will only affect two local businesses – Pets, Pets, Pets and Animal Kingdom.

THE SALE OF MARIJUANA TO TOURISTS, IN THE NETHERLANDS (REALLY)

The big news in the Netherlands has been the start of enforcement of a ban on the sale of marijuana to non-Dutch residents. The policy isn't supposed to go into effect in Europe's unofficial weed capital, Amsterdam, until 2013 (and with the recent collapse of the country's conservative government, there's reason to believe it might never happen there), but meanwhile border towns and cities in three southern provinces, especially Maastricht, have been grappling with the change. Pot is technically already banned throughout the Netherlands, but the country's famed tolerance policy has of course led to a flourishing ganja-based tourism industry centered around "coffee shops" that sell small amounts of pot without interference. But as of May 1, only holders of a "weed pass," which are not available to non-residents, are supposed to be allowed to purchase those sweet, sweet spliffs. Predictably, hazy, munchie-inducing protests have ensued.

SHADY CONTRACTORS, IN INDIANAPOLIS

Mr. Robert Hight has been banned from conducting construction activities in Marion County, Indiana, until further notice after officials there discovered he'd been operating as a contractor without a license and allegedly forging construction permits for projects all over town. Hight came to the city of Indianapolis's attention after one of his clients called to inquire why no inspector had shown up to sign off on her new garage. In response to the allegations, Hight apologized but laid the blame on "a man … , who sold me his services in acquiring a permit. The permit turned out to be false." Indianapolis officials are urging citizens to make sure their contractors are licensed by searching for them at www.indy.gov/dce.

SELLING GUNS OUT OF YOUR HOME, IN PINOLE, CALIFORNIA

Home-based businesses may no longer sell guns to the public in Pinole, a town of about 18,000 in western Contra Costa County, California. The city council this week "formally adopted an ordinance banning the sale of firearms and ammunition from home businesses and restricting them to commercial areas," the Oakland Tribune reports. Of course, the Pinole council wouldn't have had to bother passing such a law had it not accidentally made the practice legal back in 2010, when the city adopted a revised zoning code that left out language specifically outlawing home gun sales. According to the Tribune, it took K. Robert Miller, the caretaker at Pinole Valley Park, applying to sell guns out of his rented home last year before the council realized it had inadvertently made such a business possible.

Top image: cynoclub/Shutterstock.com

About the Author

  • Sommer Mathis is editor of CityLab. Previously she spent five years editing and reporting on the D.C. metro area at DCist.com and TBD.com.