Could 2018 be the Hash Bash to end all Hash Bashes?
Well, it could be the end of Hash Bash as we have come to know it, because 2018’s could be the last one while marijuana is still illegal in Michigan. A pending ballot initiative now with the state legislature would put the question of legalizing recreational marijuana on the fall ballot.
If the initiative passes, the next Hash Bash will be held in… shall we call it “free territory”?
The Hash Bash proper, the thing that has been going on for 47 years, is a one-hour smoke-in, protest, and political rally that takes place on the U-M Diag starting at noon on April 7 this year.
The first bash, in 1972, was timed to take advantage of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that temporarily left marijuana legal in Michigan for a short while. Since then it’s been held under the duress of prohibition. Even Ann Arbor’s famously lenient pot laws don’t apply because the bash is held on campus, where state law and city law doesn’t apply.
Regardless of the law, and the occasional bust by campus police, marijuana smoking is rampant among the huge crowd that shows up — hey, it’s a “smoke-in.” Last year, a reported 6,000 to 7,000 attended the rally. This year’s event, with a legalization effort to focus on, should attract even more people (if the weather cooperates).
“I am excited to witness the end of cannabis prohibition in Michigan,” says Bash organizer Nicholas Zettel. “The energy that culminated to make the legalization petition drive a success is continuing to build and grow. Hash Bash has been steadily growing since the passage of Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act in 2008, and I believe this year could see the largest attendance in the event’s history.”