|Hopes Set High for 29th Hash Bash at U. Michigan|
Posted by FoM on March 31, 2000 at 19:29:06 PT|
By David Enders, Michigan Daily U. Michigan
Adam Brook thinks he has the answer to an often-heard campus debate: When lighting a joint, is a person smoking up, down or out?
"It's slang, whatever gets you going. I guess it depends on what kind of weed you're smoking," said Brook, an Ann Arbor businessman who has organized the annual Hash Bash festival, a celebration of hemp, on the Diag for the past nine years.
More people may find an answer to that question during the 29th Hash Bash tomorrow. Organizers said they are expecting about 10,000 people on the Diag if the weather is favorable.
The world-famous event will run from "high noon" to 1 p.m. and this year will focus on a signature drive to add the Personal Responsibility Amendment initiative to the November ballot. The initiative would make marijuana use legal in Michigan, as long as it is in the home.
"Why should it be illegal?" Brook asked.
Speakers at the event will include Elvy Musikka, one of eight people in the country receiving medicinal marijuana from the government; Jack Herer, who founded the group Help Eliminate Marijuana Prohibition; and Chef Ra, the culinary columnist from High Times Magazine. Reggae musician Andrew Tosh will provide entertainment.
Hash Bash has become increasingly supported by people travelling to Ann Arbor in the past years for the event.
Students "won't come to the Hash Bash because they think they'll be kicked out of school," Brook said, but added, "We have a higher ratio of students than at football games."
Hash Bash organizers suggest not smoking on the Diag, although Brook said it would be an admirable act of "social disobedience."
Supporters of pot legalization have hailed Ann Arbor as a marijuana mecca because of the festival and the city ordinance that imposes only a $25 fine for possession of the drug. Under state law, the same crime is an arrestable offense carrying up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
The Department of Public Safety will enforce state law at Hash Bash, because the University is state-owned property.
"If a person is arrested by anybody but (an Ann Arbor police officer) they could only enforce state law," Washtenaw County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Joe Burke said.
DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said officers will be increasing their coverage of the Diag on Saturday and will receive assistance from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department.
"Unfortunately, the use of drugs and alcohol has traditionally accompanied this event," Brown said, noting that officers made about 40 arrests last year.
Last year, Hash Bash drew about 5,000 people and included pro-marijuana speakers such as Tommy Chong and Steve Hager, editor of High Times Magazine.
The University allows the event to take place because the organizing committee is headed by a student.
"We are supportive of free speech and expression of ideas," Brown said. "We do not condone the use of drugs on our campus."
The long-term popularity of Hash Bash, which was born out of a protest for the drug arrest of a local man in 1970, seems to reflect recent studies that indicate marijuana is consistently the most popular illicit drug.
A University study released in December indicated that 17 percent of eighth-graders, 32 percent of 10th-graders and 38 percent of high school seniors had used marijuana in the past year.
"Rates are down a bit from where they were a couple years ago," said Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the University's Monitoring the Future study, which tracks drug use of 50,000 U.S. teens.
In guessing at reasons for the drug's popularity, Johnston cited its availability and perception as the least dangerous illicit drug.
"It also had symbolic meaning back in the Vietnam era with being associated with the counterculture," he said.
Johnston also said he does not expect the popularity of drugs to drop anytime soon, saying that if it isn't marijuana, it will be something else.
"There are always new drugs coming onto the scene," he said. The drug epidemic keeps rolling - the Internet spreads information on how to make drugs and their perceived benefits," he said, citing ecstasy as an example.
But some people are just fine with things the way they are now.
Hash Bash "is a pilgrimage day - people don't care if it snows," said James Millard, the owner of Pure Productions, a hemp goods store on South Fourth Avenue.
(U-WIRE) Ann Arbor, Mich.
Related Article & Web Sites:
Ann Arbor Hashbash
Freedom Network's Guide To Hash-Bash 2000
Annual Hash Bash Draws Differing Points of View
Comment #5 posted by PatMagr0in on April 08, 2001 at 23:08:25 PT:|
|i took over 100 pix at the hashbash in ann arbor mi yesterday , check out the site i made for em........|
[ Post Comment ]
Comment #4 posted by steve on April 06, 2001 at 06:07:07 PT:|
|jimmyslap will be rockin out after the festivities for all those musical smokers that are gonna be there this year,look for flyers or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org|
[ Post Comment ]
Comment #3 posted by Bugg on March 13, 2001 at 10:47:18 PT:|
|how much does it cost to enter and should I bring anything.|
[ Post Comment ]
|Comment #2 posted by Terry on April 04, 2000 at 12:11:27 PT|
|Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 03, 2000 at 10:01:38 PT|
It was a breezy but fine day for the Hash Bash again. To get the useless statistics out of the way first, I'd say 6000-8000 people gathered together to support legalization. The focus was definatly on the PRA, with excellent minds and resources trying to mix together under a common goal. Not one speaker forgot to mention it. From Presidential Candidate to college Professor, from editor to chef, all agreed on one thing, the PRA is a democratic step toward freedom and happiness. Many people took home info on how to circulate petitions, I bet we gained a thousand volunteers. Especially with the proposition of paid signature gatherers...
Whichever great mind came up with the sit in, it worked fine on this day. When the crowd spread out and sat down, the police became obvious, literally standing out. They huddled then eventually waded their way to the edges. When everyone stood up and crammed into the stage, I started thinking "Light em up" and Adam Brooke said "I'm not saying obstruct officers, but of course the'll be slowed." as the crowd packed in shoulder to shoulder. The day suddenly smelled much better.
The reasons to leaglize are too many to fit on this page, but it is the truth that the cannabis plant, both industrial hemp and medical marijuanna, has been common and well used for thousands of years, improving the whole planet. It figures that when it was made illegal it destroyed a vital part of humanity.
Mans first cultivated plant, the root of all religions and the most common medicine worldwide, made illegal to feed a prison-like state, worse then any addiction. We have taken steps toward freedom.
And a good time was had by all!
Happening soon on a planet near you!
Saturday May 6th 2000
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