The History of the Ann Arbor Hash Bash

Hash Bash is an annual event held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, originally held every April 1st, but now on the first Saturday of April at high noon on the University of Michigan Diag.
A collection of speeches, live music, street vending and occasional civil disobedience are centered on the goal of reforming federal, state, and local marijuana laws.

The very first Hash Bash was held on Saturday (April 1st, 1972). In response to the March 9th 1972 decision by Michigan Supreme Court declaring (unconstitutional) the law used to convict cultural activist John Sinclair for possession of two marijuana joints. This action left the State of Michigan without a law prohibiting the use of marijuana until after the weekend of April 1, 1972. Chef Ra was a fixture of the Hash Bash for 19 consecutive years before his death in late 2006.


The Road To Marijuana Legalization

The second annual Hash Bash (in 1973) attracted approximately 3,000 participants. That year, state representative Perry Bullard, a proponent of marijuana legalization, attended and smoked marijuana, an act which later earned him criticism from political opponents.

Hash Bash participants did not encounter significant police interference until the seventh annual event (in 1978), when local police booked, cited, photographed, and released those participants alleged to be using illegal substances. But the Hash Bash quickly came back to become a major festival in Ann Arbor.


Michigan Medical Marijuana

The 2009 Hash Bash on April 4th celebrated the Medical Marijuana victory in Michigan state and was the largest gathering that the event had seen in years. An increased turnout which the Michigan Daily attributed to the "Wider acceptance of recreational drug use both on campus and across the country."

Over the years following the Hash Bash event has been steadily climbing to some 10.000 to 15.000 attendees. And as usual addressed by activists, musicians, writers and celebrities such as; Ed Rosenthal, Virg Bernero, DJ Short, Adam Brook, Jorge Cervantes, Nicholas Zettel, Danny Danko, John Sinclair, Coleman Young II, Tommy Chong, Laith Al-Saadi, Keith Stroup and many more..

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