Cannabis News NORML - It's Time for a Change!
  Less of a Bash, More Issues To Hash
Posted by CN Staff on April 03, 2005 at 09:44:57 PT
By Khalil E. Hachem, News Staff Reporter  
Source: Ann Arbor News 

cannabis Michigan -- Drizzling rain and cold weren't enough to keep about 900 people Saturday from congregating on the University of Michigan Diag to hear music and speeches calling for the legalization of marijuana.

They came for the annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash, held each year on the first Saturday in April. This was the 34th bash.

The number of participants was smaller than last year's estimated 1,500, but organizers said they were pleased with the turnout.

U-M freshman Amy Steiker said she came to check out the Hash Bash and support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes only. "I don't support it for all uses," she said.

Lila Frazer of Traverse City said medical use is a first step, and legalizing marijuana for all proposes is the ultimate goal.

Some participants, clad with fake marijuana leaves around their necks and heads, waved signs, beat drums, circulated petitions to legalize marijuana and handed out information that said the plant had various benefits.

Organizer Josh Soper, a U-M junior, said the intention of the rally was to bring the issue of legalizing marijuana to light instead of being "a smoke in" as it had been the case in previous years. Soper is director and founder of the U-M chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

NORML's Web site says responsible marijuana use is not harmful to society and that laws against marijuana and their enforcement cause more harm than the use of marijuana itself.

But the Partnership for a Drug-Free America says risks are associated with marijuana use. The group's Web site says that the risks include short-term effects, such as problems with memory and learning, trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate and anxiety. The site also says marijuana smoke contains the same cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

The event began with an hour of live music by Hazy Jane and Buddha Fulla Rymez, followed by speeches and a demonstration near the City Hall. Festivities continued with vendors and live music on Monroe Street until 5 p.m.

While the rain ceased when the event began around 11 a.m., participants shivered in temperatures hovering near 40 degrees as they listened to speakers urge the crowd not to smoke joints on the Diag because the minimum punishment for smoking on campus is a $100 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

The university's Department of Public Safety enforces state law. Off campus, however, possession of marijuana is a civil infraction with a $25 fine in the city of Ann Arbor.

Poet John Sinclair, a 1960s activist, urged participants to fight for the right to legalize marijuana. "We will continue to work to alter the laws in this town," he said.

The first Hash Bash was held after Sinclair's 1969 arrest and imprisonment for possessing two marijuana joints.

U-M spokeswoman Diane Brown said Saturday's event was peaceful and no one was cited or arrested for illegal activities. Ann Arbor police did not report any violations or arrests associated with the event. Last year, six people were arrested for possession of marijuana during the event.

Scio Township Trustee Chuck Ream, who was one of the speakers Saturday, said organizers are discussing moving the event to May for better weather and turn out.

Note: Focus of marijuana festival shifts from freedom to party to freedom from pain.

Source: Ann Arbor News (MI)
Author: Khalil E. Hachem, News Staff Reporter
Published: Sunday, April 03, 2005
Copyright: 2005 The Ann Arbor News
Contact: letters@annarbornews.com
Website: http://www.mlive.com/aanews/

Related Articles & Web Sites:

UM NORML
http://www.umnorml.org/

Michigan NORML
http://www.minorml.org/

Hash Bash
http://www.hashbash.com/

Hash Bash Organizers Hope To Increase Turnout
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20442.shtml

'High Noon' Leaves Diag Smoking
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18586.shtml

The Faded But Still Not Forgotten
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18584.shtml


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Comment #6 posted by Hope on April 03, 2005 at 22:05:20 PT
Listening to the Hash Bash
I tried, too. All I could get was what I assumed was that jazz group.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on April 03, 2005 at 21:47:34 PT
ekim
I want to comment about Neil since I am diehard fan. He plays music that talks about marijuana and once asked if there was any drug he wouldn't do. He said I won't do a drug that will kill me. Cannabis is part of his music and belief. He is a tree hugging capitalist he said in an interview. Tree hugging capitalists general put marijuana as a natural part of their cause but probably wouldn't make cannabis an issue by itself. Both concerts we saw he closed with Roll Another Number For The Road and it was awesome to hear everyone singing along. Some artists make stands but they are more subtle I believe.

PS: I tried to listen to the Hash Bash but I was going to have to change some settings and I didn't want to tackle what I wasn't sure how to do so I missed it unfortunately.



[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #4 posted by Hope on April 03, 2005 at 21:25:55 PT
Still no big names come to play at the Hashbash
Ekim, something just occurred to me that might draw the big names to perform at these occasions. If we changed our focus...actually I wouldn't be changing my focus...it's always been my focus.

But instead of being "for" something...like "for" cannabis or marijuana or decrim or legalization or anything, perhaps it should be about being "against" something. In this case, what I'm against...the real devil...PROHIBITION.

Instead of inviting them to Pro-Marijuana or Pro Cannabis situations or being "for" anything, the focus should be "Come out and join us AGAINST Prohibition" and all it's harms and unintended consequences. Heck...I can't say "unintended" anymore...because they see what the consequences are and they continue it...so I have to wonder if maybe they intended them after all.

People generally try to be positive...thus..Pro something. It's time we called it what it is and go with the negative word...we're Anti-Drug War...Anti persecution...Anti prosecution...Anti-Prohibition and Anti-Unintended consequences.

This way, a celebrity or their agents wouldn't have to worry about being labeled Pro Drug or Pro Marijauna...He could clearly say what he is...Anti Prohibition.

Just a thought.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #3 posted by ekim on April 03, 2005 at 20:21:10 PT
did anyone watch the Hashbash on DSL
Fom can you imagine how many would be watching the hashbash if Neil was there. I wonder how many readers know that John Lenon played at a fundrasier for John Sinclair when he was given 10 years for two blunts. Now your school loans are taken -- your are branded for life with a conviction. Still no big names come to play at the Hashbash.

Poet John Sinclair, a 1960s activist

Why no mention of the Prof. Price as he must be the first Prof. to speak at a Hashbash ---

Political science Prof. Albert Price, who will speak at noon tomorrow, said he will focus on how the punitive ramification are more harmful than the effects of marijuana.

“At some point, the cost supercedes at the point. Young adults are the most likely to be hurt by policy than the drug,” he said.

Price added that Alaska voted to legalize marijuana as evidence that even a state dominated by a Republican legislature condoned this.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by mayan on April 03, 2005 at 17:17:04 PT
unrelated...
Peer cautions on cannabis U-turn(UK): http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,1451438,00.html

Gringo Anti-Drug Forces in Colombia Moonlight as Narcos: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0504/S00014.htm

Drugs firms 'creating ills for every pill'(UK) http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0%2C6903%2C1451177%2C00.html

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 03, 2005 at 15:43:13 PT
Just a Note
If you appreciate Neil Young's music I recommend you check out Rust Radio while it is still on. It's the best I've ever heard.

Have a great evening everyone.

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/rust/message/122719

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