This year’s Hash Bash went virtual, but more than 500 still came to a smoke-in
ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Hundreds of people protested state and federal marijuana laws in Ann Arbor on Saturday despite public health officials restricting gatherings.
The participants in the “smoke-in” protest on Saturday split from the organizers of the Hash Bash, who made the event virtual in 2020 and this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLive.com reported.
Attendees will gather for an alternate hash bash event on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at the University of Michigan Diag in Ann Arbor. J (acob Hamilton | The Ann Arbor News on AP)
It usually takes place at the University of Michigan Diag and has drawn thousands of people to smoke marijuana in recent years while a number of speakers and musicians cater to the crowd.
The annual event began in 1972 as a show of support for John Sinclair, a poet and activist who was originally sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of two joints.
Adam Brook, a former Hash Bash organizer, organized the smoke-in on Saturday, previously telling MLive.com that personal protest is still the purpose of the event.
“This just goes to show that we still have a lot to fight,” said Brook on Saturday. “We moved the ball forward but we still have a long way to go.”
Michigan allows adults to buy and consume cannabis products, but their use in public places is not permitted by law.
This guy came with a costume. (Jacob Hamilton | The Ann Arbor News via AP)
Melissa Overton, information officer for the university’s public safety department, said between 500 and 700 people were on the diag. She said it was peaceful and the police had not made any arrests.