Hash Bash

hash bash 2011

Hash Bash is an annual event held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the first Saturday of April at high noon on the University of Michigan Diag (a large open space in the middle of the university’s Central Campus). A collection of speeches, live music, street vending and occasional civil disobedience are centered on the goal of reforming federal, state, and local marijuana laws. The first Hash Bash was held on Saturday, April 1 1972 in response to the March 9th 1972 decision by Michigan Supreme Court declaring unconstitutional the law used to convict cultural activist John Sinclair for possession of two marijuana joints.

Ann Arbor has very lenient laws regarding the possession of marijuana, it is a civil infraction rather than a criminal offense. Even so, the campus of the University of Michigan sits upon state property, and so anyone caught with marijuana on any campus location is subject to the more strict state marijuana laws. In addition, since state law takes precedence over municipal law, many people are prosecuted under state law regardless of where in Ann Arbor they are located.


One Comment to “Hash Bash”

  1. It is not true that state law take precedence over municipal law. If you are stopped ANYWHERE in Ann Arbor (University of Michigan is STATE property, so CAMPUS is under state law, which gets you a misdemeanor) and you are in simple possession, less that an ounce, that it will be a civil infraction ticket with a $25 fine with $25 in court costs for your 1st offense. (unless you happen to be unlucky and run into a U of M PIG, who ALWAYS writes under state law) Most people who challange a misdemeanor ticket recieved on campus will be able to get it reduced to the local civil infraction, once you get to court.

    I have never heard of an AAPD officer writing anything more than the civil infraction, for many years we would do anything we could to get a civil infraction ticket (they originally were a $5 fine, but in the 80’s they made it $25 with a 1st, 2nd & 3rd offence) even walking up to a pig and asking for a light to fire up a joint. They would offer you the light but you could never get them to write the $5 ticket.

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