|Police Arrest 40 for Possession of Pot - Hash Bash|
Posted by FoM on April 04, 2000 at 07:44:20 PT|
By David Enders, Michigan Daily U. Michigan
It appears that football games aren't the only thing that get students up early on the weekend. Although they were in the minority at Saturday's Hash Bash, some University of Michigan students rolled out of bed to properly prepare for Ann Arbor's most notorious festivities.
It's called "wake and bake," said one student as he loaded a water bong with marijuana at a local fraternity. He then proceeded with friends to the main event on the Diag, which began at "high noon" and lasted until 1 p.m.
From high school students to flower child throwbacks, the 29th annual Hash Bash attracted a diverse crowd of between 4,000 to 5,000 people, mostly from out of town. University spokeswoman Diane Brown said the attendance was about half of what organizers expected.
Brown said that Department of Public Safety officers arrested 40 people for possession of marijuana during the day. But if arrests deterred most people from smoking weed in the Diag, it didn't stop them from lighting up before they arrived.
"I smoke everyday," said Ted, a 26-year-old computer technician from Kalamazoo, who asked that his last name not be used. He attended Hash Bash with friends to support the legalization of marijuana. "I like the way it makes me feel. It relieves stress and helps me with my (Attention Deficit Disorder)."
Speakers at the event urged the crowd to sign a petition supporting the Personal Responsibility Amendment, which would make the use of marijuana in the home legal in Michigan.
One of the featured speakers was Greg Schmid, the author of the PRA initiative.
"It's time to fight despotism while we can in this country ... Laws that don't respect people breed people who don't respect the law," Schmid said.
Ted said he believes the PRA initiative has a chance of passing "if we can get enough stoners off their asses and registered to vote."
Sporting knee-length dreadlocks, Chef Ra, the culinary columnist for High Times Magazine, cheerfully admonished police.
"That's one more soldier laying down their lives for us," Ra said as he watched a young man get arrested by officers.
Although DPS officers were often verbally abused by the crowd, there was little interaction between police and hash bashers - except for the assault of an Ann Arbor Police Department officer later in the day as he sat in his patrol car on South University Avenue. The suspect was subdued by DPS officers.
Tensions also rose slightly when members of the crowd attempted to block access to the outlet providing power to the amplifier being used by speakers to address the crowd from the steps of Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.
The University only supplies an hour worth of electricity for the event, a consistent complaint of organizers.
The crowd in the Diag began to disperse after the power was cut, but revelers crowded the streets for hours afterward - some retiring to an outdoor party at Dominick's on Monroe Street, others milling the streets surrounding Central Campus, where vendors were hawking various wares.
The event normally attracts curious onlookers as well as marijuana supporters, and Saturday was no exception.
Shaun Gallo of Detroit "expected to see more people smoking in public," but was disappointed.
SueJeanne Koh of Boston was visiting her friend Yolanda Rosi, a third-year medical student at the University.
"It's interesting to see how plants attract so much attention," Koh said, noting the "forbidden fruit mentality" of marijuana.
"Lots of people just look like they're out having a good time," Rosi said.
By late evening, the only evidence of the hash bashers' presence was a blanket of litter in the streets and on the Diag, and the harbinger of spring had ended for another year. "It's a very hard day on our staff," Brown said. "We're glad it's over."
Updated 12:00 PM ET April 3, 2000
Related Articles & Web Sites:
Ann Arbor Hashbash
Freedom Network's Guide To Hash-Bash 2000
Hash Bash Mash & Cash
Hopes Set High for 29th Hash Bash at U. Michigan
Annual Hash Bash Draws Differing Points of View
|Comment #2 posted by Freedom on April 04, 2000 at 12:26:03 PT|
I would have prefered:
Thousands Gather to Oppose Counter-Productive American Marijuana Policy
|Comment #1 posted by Bobbie on April 04, 2000 at 09:32:22 PT|
Opression is so exhausting!