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 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. By 1985 the Hash Bash attendance rate was at an all-time-low, but quickly arose to become a major festival in Ann Arbor.
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, with an estimated 1,600 participants – an increased turnout which the Michigan Daily attributed to the "wider acceptance of recreational drug use both on campus and across the country."
The 2010 Hash Bash on April 3rd had an estimated 5,000 attendees. In the year 2015 Hash Bash had a record 8,000 - 15,000 attendees also owed to the appearance of Tommy Chong, and lasted about twice as long than usual.
You can find many street vendors selling smoking accessories and Hash Bash graphic apparel, along with a Michigan NORML booth.
For a full report of all Hash Bash years, visit the Freedom Activist >>