Hash Bash is an annual event held in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the first Saturday of April at noon on the University of Michigan Diag. A collection of speeches, live music (this year by Honey Monsoon, Ma Baker, and Cosmic Knot), street vending and more is centered on the goal of reforming federal, state, and local cannabis laws. There is a separate but heavily related event following Hash Bash just off campus known as the Monroe Street Fair, where there is usually a live show accompanying the many street vendors selling smoking accessories and Hash Bash graphic apparel, along with a Michigan NORML booth.
The first Hash Bash was held on Saturday, April 1, 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.
Before cannabis legalization in Michigan, the penalty for cannabis law violations in the City of Ann Arbor was a $30 fine and $25 court costs for a total of $55, and was a civil infraction ticket. The campus falls under state, not city jurisdiction but “for decades, police had in the past exercised discretion and a general tolerance for public marijuana use at the annual Hash Bash. Marijuana is openly consumed annually on the campus and at past events, few, if any, arrests occur. There is a general understanding that during this time, peaceful protesters can engage in the civil disobedience of cannabis consumption and police generally will not enforce state law.”
This year is the first annual Hash Bash since cannabis has been legal for recreational use in Michigan!