6. Belgium allows the personal possession of cannabis
Although Belgium historically had a strict stance towards all drugs, Belgium relaxed their laws on the personal possession of cannabis in 2003. Now in Belgium it is legal to possess up to 3g of cannabis. Recent comments have hinted at stricter policies but will likely mostly affect smoking in public, while possession continues to still be technically legal.
7. The Belgian King can mobilize troops in independent Congo
Although the Congo declared independence in 1960, the Belgian King can by law mobilize the ‘Belgian-Congo’ military and take any necessary means to protect the country in a war, or even implement proactive measures in times of peace. Naturally, this is a law that has not been invoked much in the past few decades.
8. ‘GAS’: a ban on civil and social practices
The biggest source of Belgium’s weird laws is the Communal Administrative Sanctions (Gemeentelijke Administratieve Sancties, or GAS). These were a number of relatively minor laws, with fines up to €250. Introduced in 1999, they gave local authorities the power to address petty nuisances. A number of municipalities used GAS to cover their civic duty, like restricting children’s games for safety reasons.
9. Dogs and oxen can propel army vehicles
Several of Belgians weird laws revolve around the pursuit of advancing technology. One such law dating to 1939 concerns the military, which dictates that ‘beasts of burden (horses, oxen, dogs, etc.)’ can be requisitioned for any vehicles employed by the army. Although, perhaps that wouldn’t be useful if a drone runs out of fuel.
10. You can keep your last cow, pig, goats, sheep, and chickens
Belgian law provides a list of items that a bailiff cannot seize. Although a handy list, it includes some outdated elements such as livestock and one month’s worth of livestock feed. It is yet to be seen if this law would safeguard the chickens and pork fillets in your freezer.