What Is The Top Legal Question Searched For In YOUR State? (We Hope You Don’t Live In Ohio)

When you need medical advice, you see a doctor or pharmacist. Investment tips? A financial consultant! But when we need insight on legal issues, Americans push attorneys aside and go right for the big gun of…Google. That might seem odd, but when you consider the personal tone of certain legal topics, some find it best to do it undercover on the Internet.

Just for fun, If You Only News did its own research to find out what the most popular legal questions searched for on Google are.

We even broke it down state-by-state. And while many seem timely and ordinary, others were odd.  Very, very odd.

Some of the top searches are relevant to recent news. Regarding Indiana, for example, Google searchers want to know if that state’s recent “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” really does allow LGBT discrimination. After Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on labor rights, people want to know if you can be forced to work seven days a week in Wisconsin.

Overall, though, queries about the legality of marijuana (and medical marijuana, too) were dominant. A couple of states also wanted to know about cannabis oil (top search in Tennessee, second most common in Missouri). Legal use of pepper spray was also researched.

Legal questions about gambling, both online and in general, took second place, followed by searches pertaining to weapons. That latter general category includes questions about restrictions on carrying concealed weapons, open-carry laws, and even regarding concealed knives.

And while the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage certainly remains prominent, as shown by the many searches on that topic, for some reason polygamy was a popular search in three states (first in Louisiana, second in Utah, third most-searched in Alaska).

Prostitution was the top search not only in Nevada (the only state where it’s legal, and in all but four counties), but in Rhode Island, too. The legality of sex with teenagers was the second most common search in Hawaii, and also in Arkansas (where questions about having a funeral in your home took third). Toss in home-made whiskey, extramarital affairs, and making secret audio recordings of conversations without informing anyone, and – well, you can see how odd many legal questions are.

The most bizarre search, though — and we mean, really bizarre — is from Ohio. The Buckeye State’s residents search…b*stiality more than any other legal term. Yikes.

Nearby Pennsylvania ain’t that much better on the same subject of animals; their third most common search is about the legality of eating dogs and cats. And for some reason, Mississippi folks want to know if they can transport wild hogs in their personal vehicles.

Here’s a map of the most common “is (xx) legal in (yy)” Google searches, followed by a detailed listing of the top three from all 50 states and D.C.:

legal search map



Most Common

Second Most Common

Third Most Common

AlaskaMarijuanaHeadlight flashingProstitution
AlabamaCommon-law marriageGay marriageOnline poker
ArizonaSame-sex marriageOpen carryMedical marijuana
ArkansasOpen carrySex with minorsFuneral in the home
CaliforniaMarijuanaMotorcycle lane splittingRadar detectors
ConnecticutConcealed weaponsMarital separationMedical marijuana
DelawareMedical marijuanaGamblingAdultery
FloridaMarijuanaOpen carrySame-sex marriage
GeorgiaMedical marijuanaGamblingEviction
HawaiiMarijuanaSex with teenagersConcealed knives
IdahoConcealed weapon w/o a permitSnow tiresSurfing
IllinoisHappy hour promotionsGunsGambling
IndianaGay discriminationGunsMarijuana
IowaFireworksGay marriageConcealed knives
KansasHome schoolingOvertime w/o time-and-a-half payGambling
KentuckyChild emancipationHome distilling of whiskeyOnline poker
LouisianaPolygamyOpen carryMarijuana
MarylandAssisted suicideMarital separationMedical marijuana
MaineMarijuanaHunting at nightAdultery
MassachusettsMarijuanaTicket scalpingFireworks
MichiganMarijuanaMinors buying gunsGambling
MinnesotaMedical marijuanaSame-sex marriageBig game ammo
MississippiConcealed knivesSame-sex marriageTransport wild hogs
MissouriSame-sex marriageCannabis oilHome distillery
MontanaGun without permitMarijuanaGambling
NebraskaGamblingSame-sex marriageMarijuana
NevadaProstitutionMedical marijuanaSecret recordings
New HampshireGamblingSame-sex marriageCapital punishment
New JerseyGamblingMedical marijuanaAssisted suicide
New MexicoOpen carrySame-sex marriageMedical marijuana
New YorkGamblingSame-sex marriagePepper spray
North CarolinaMarijuanaGamblingOpen carry
North DakotaGamblingDrinking and drivingHiring children
OhioB*stialityMarijuanaOpen carry
OklahomaMedical marijuanaOpen carrySame-sex marriage
OregonMarijuanaSame-sex marriageMinibikes
PennsylvaniaMarijuanaOpen carryEating dogs and cats
Rhode IslandProstitutionConcealed knivesMedical marijuana
South CarolinaUberConcealed gunsConcealed knives
South DakotaGamblingDrinking and drivingOpen carry
TennesseeCannabis oilSecret recordingsSame-sex marriage
TexasOpen carryGamblingMarijuana
UtahGay marriagePolygamyOnline poker
VermontOnline pokerMarijuanaGay marriage
VirginiaSame-sex marriageOpen carryGambling
WashingtonMedical marijuanaOpen carryGambling
Washington, DCMarijuanaDrinking and drivingPepper spray
West VirginiaOpen carryFireworksAdultery
Wisconsin7-day work weekAlcohol consumption by minorsGay marriage
WyomingOnline pokerMarijuanaConcealed knives

Featured image by If You Only News


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