People are sharing illegal things that used to be completely normal, and it’s pretty shocking

This post contains a discussion of rape.

Times change, so things that were once perfectly fine – even legal – can now get you arrested.

A police officer arrests a suspect

Hill Street Studios/Getty Images

Redditor u/90sVib3z recently asked The people of Reddit: “What is illegal today but was once completely normal?” Take a journey back in time and see how a lot has changed over the years:

1.“I used to buy dynamite at the hardware store. My dad and I used it to remove tree stumps.”

—u/Special Ksu

Sticks of dynamite

Ilka & Franz / Getty Images

2.“Cigarette vending machines. No age restrictions, just throw in a few quarters and pull the handle!”


A cigarette machine

Photoquest/Getty Images

3.“Send your kids to the store to buy cigarettes.”


4.“Smoking at school. My high school had a smoking area for students.”


a man smoking a cigarette

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

5.“Lead paint and asbestos in housing.”

—u/Dreyfus Blue

6.“Public Executions.”


7.“Give your baby OTC laudanum so you can go dancing all night long—or so my grandmother said. A few flappers.” overdosed their babiesand they stopped selling laudanum in the drugstore.”



Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

8th.“Smoking inside.”


9.“Our high school had a shooting club in the schools. The kids kept their .22s in their lockers.”


10.“I drive around town in the back of a pickup truck. I’m the type of person who won’t take my car out of park unless all the seatbelts are on, but as a kid, I jumped at the chance to ride in the truck bed.”


a couple sits in the back of a truck

Aj_watt/Getty Images

11.“Drinking and Driving.”


12.“I don’t wear a seatbelt. People used to make fun of you for wearing a seatbelt.”


a man putting on his seatbelt

Getty Images

13.“I remember it was completely normal for someone to leave their children in the car (doors unlocked and windows open) while they went to a store. Nobody thought about it.”


Children sleep in a car

Tanya Little/Getty Images

14.“Cocaine. It used to be in everything.”


15.“Child labor – and the arguments for maintaining it ranged from ‘No one is forcing it’ to ‘But if we ban it, our industries will no longer be competitive’ and ‘If they work, they are off the streets.’ I think this is an example that we must always keep in mind, because many of these arguments, from “so-called choice” and “competitiveness” to the “wrong alternative,” are still regularly used to justify such practices today morally reprehensible.”


16.Marital rape.”

—u/they call it Masloth

17.“Driving while talking on the phone.”

—u/Nerve cell_25

A woman drives while pressing buttons on her phone

Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

18.“So much pollution. People used to change the oil on their cars and pour it into storm drains or a hole in the ground. Old pill bottles ended up in the trash. So much aerosol hairspray. Commercially, we’ve dumped so much.” When a lot of chemical waste got into rivers, it started burning, and it started burning through the ozone layer. Superfund sites, the list goes on and on.”


19.“Cross a border. Immigration controls are a whole new thing. Before there were comprehensive public services, nations did not care about border controls.”


And finally…

20.“Owning other people.”


Do you have your own suggestions? See you in the comments!

These entries have been edited for length and clarity.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call them National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which will direct the caller to the nearest sexual assault provider. You can also search for your local center Here.

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