Cannabis News
  Annual Hash Bash Draws Differing Points of View
Posted by FoM on March 30, 2000 at 11:41:21 PT
By Susan L. Oppat, News Staff Reporter 
Source: Michigan Live 

cannabis Shannon Fiala and David Wilson both attend the University of Michigan. Both were sitting in the sun on the Diag Wednesday afternoon.

But when it comes to marijuana use and this Saturday's 29th annual Hash Bash, they seem to come from different planets.

Wilson, a 21-year-old sophomore from Toronto, is looking forward to the Hash Bash. He missed it last year when it took place during Passover. "I've heard all walks of life come, people you wouldn't normally see on campus."

Wilson won't smoke at the Hash Bash. "I'm not interested in getting busted," he said. But the art and creative-writing student uses marijuana every week or two, believing it broadens his creativity.

Wilson estimates that 95 percent of the people he knows in Ann Arbor use marijuana - and that half of those abuse the drug, using it until "they lose their ambition, and motivation."

Wilson believes he has a handle on his drug use.

"If I love basketball, I won't play basketball seven days a week and exclude my friends. Same thing with marijuana. I enjoy it. But I know when to use the drug and when not to. I've had bad times on marijuana - paranoia, headaches. Sometimes, you've got work to do, and you can't do it (on marijuana)."

Fiala, a first-year Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) student from Kalamazoo, has used marijuana, about six times in high school, "to see what it's like."

She didn't like it - it made her slow on the soccer field, among other things. She decided before she arrived in Ann Arbor not to use it any more, and doesn't think she knows anyone here who does.

Fiala has heard about the Hash Bash, that "people come to the Diag from all over Michigan and buy a lot of marijuana and get really high." But she won't be there - she'll be volunteering for Hands on the Planet, a day of service projects to clean up the environment.

"I think in high school, it's more something cool to do. Now I just think it's kind of stupid. It's just a phase, and I grew out of it," Fiala said.

She said she has a high school friend who uses marijuana heavily. After eight years playing soccer, Fiala's friend had to leave the sport - she couldn't keep up. She's not attending college but working in what Fiala considers a dead-end job.

That's the problem with marijuana, according to Kathleen Bishop, a Drug-Free Schools coordinator for Ann Arbor Schools.

"Any drug you use to cope with any situation, even if it's to socialize, is a problem, because you're not learning skills to deal with life, to deal with feelings, like boredom," Bishop said.

"Kids ... don't understand that it's addictive. They think it's a natural high, no big deal. But when we see addicted kids, marijuana is always a component. They start with alcohol, but they are always using marijuana in addition to whatever drugs they are using."

In the peer support groups Bishop runs in Ann Arbor middle schools, she takes her victories in small doses.

Like one middle-school girl, described by Bishop as a street-wise kid who "smoked dope." Bishop said there were drugs in the girl's home and a divorce, which the girl was having a hard time coming to terms with.

"Kids have to be able to talk about how they feel and be allowed to grieve the loss, and this wasn't happening."

One day the girls told Bishop she had quit smoking marijuana.

"She said, 'You're right. It's a problem for me.' That's the biggest issue. A lot of kids say 'drug use is a problem, but not a problem for me.'

"You just have to keep driving it home that this is not healthy coping, you're not dealing with what you need to deal with," Bishop said. "The point is to get kids to a place where they can look at their lives, because one of the effects of marijuana is to be numb."

What happened to the girl? Bishop isn't sure. Has she stayed off drugs? Probably not. So why use her as an example of success?

"We slowed it down. She left knowing that marijuana is addictive, that she has addictive tendencies. That was a victory. I ruined her drug use. This kid stopped, for a while."

The biggest factor in prevention, Bishop said, is having a responsible adult teaching children values.

"We teach them that, if they are in trouble, there are people they can go to, grown-ups who will care about them. If nothing else, we've taught them that they can go to the school counseling office and say 'Hey, I'm in trouble."

Published: Thursday, March 30, 2000
Copyright 2000 Michigan Live Inc.

Related Web Site:

Ann Arbor Hashbash

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Comment #2 posted by smoke pot on March 28, 2001 at 05:58:41 PT
I think both kids are blind to the fact that reffer is the best plant on the earth and, there not doing anything more than putting down mother nature for harping on it

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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 31, 2000 at 15:47:37 PT
29th Annual Hash Bash
29th Annual Hash Bash

"Petition Today, Vote for Freedom in November"

Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana Initiative
PRA 2000
Saturday, April 1, 2000

12-1 pm Hash Bash at Diag, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

1 pm Procession to Monroe Street Closing & Dominick's
from Diag, walk stage right, then south along west side of Graduate Library (right side along building behind stage area), jog southeast, then south between President's House, cross South University at Tappan, south on Tappan one block to Monroe Street

1-6 pm Monroe Street Closing & Dominick's at Monroe Street between Tappan and Oakland (1-1/2 blocks south of Diag) with speakers and bands (Funktelligence, Heavy Weather, Soul 360 and Harms Way)

March 31 6 pm Teach-In with Jack Herer at Angell Hall, State St btwn South University & North University, University of Michigan Room TBA, look for signs in Angell Hall for room location.

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