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Rosenwald, Md.
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Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 01/24/2013

Fortune telling is now legal in Gaithersburg

I live near Gaithersburg, and I’m very interested in knowing — not for gambling purposes — whether the Ravens will win the Super Bowl.

I live near Gaithersburg, and I’m very interested in knowing — not for gambling purposes — whether my wife and I will see “Zero Dark Thirty” this weekend or some other movie that features a lot of signing.

I live near Gaithersburg, and I’m very interested in knowing — not for gambling purposes — whether the sushi I will have for lunch will be fresh.

I am so in luck. Gaithersburg officials have just lifted the city’s ban on fortune telling. I can find me a good fortune teller and know everything.

The city had banned the practice for years, but unanimously repealed the ban earlier this week following a Maryland Court of Appeals ruling in 2010, according to The Gazette. That ruling had struck down a similar Montgomery County law on free speech grounds.

The Gazette reports that the “process to change that code to allow soothsayers to open shop in the city started last summer, when a few anonymous callers asked about starting fortunetelling businesses, according to City Manager Tony Tomasello.”

There apparently was not much opposition or support. A staff prepared voting document that city officials reviewed this week said, “No written or verbal testimony regarding the proposed amendment has been received.”

The document also listed the ordinance to be struck down. It read:

No person shall demand or accept any remuneration or gratuity for forecasting or foretelling or for pretending to forecast or foretell the future by cards, palmreading, or any other scheme, practice or device. In any warrant for a violation of the above provisions, it shall be sufficient to allege that the defendant forecast or foretold or pretended to forecast or foretell the future by a certain scheme, practice or device without setting forth the particular scheme, practice or device employed.

I love the part about “pretending to forecast.”

Caveat emptor.

By  |  10:38 AM ET, 01/24/2013

 
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