America’s Coolest Anti-Prohibition Rallies
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is the site of the first marijuana protest event on the spring calendar: the Hash Bash, which happens on the first Saturday of April. The event arose from the sentencing of activist John Sinclair, who received 10 years in prison for the possession of two joints. In March of 1972, the Michigan Supreme Court declared the law under which Sinclair was convicted unconstitutional, and on April 1, the first Hash Bash commenced.
Ann Arbor is a great college town where the penalty for possession is a mere $55 ticket, but you’ll need to know someone or have a medical card to score some herb.
Boston holds the annual Freedom Rally every September on the Boston Common, the birthplace of American democracy. While previous rallies were always tense standoffs with the cops, who once even arrested our own Rick Cusick and NORML’s Keith Stroup for puffing on a doobie, today’s rallies are as laidback as the Seattle Hempfest. Decrim was passed here in 2008, and medical marijuana in 2012.
This year, Massachusetts is likely to go for the presidential-election-year trifecta by passing a ballot initiative that would legalize pot for adult recreational use—making the 2017 Freedom Rally a must-attend event.
Dallas isn’t someplace you’d normally think of as a top toker destination, but that’s only because you haven’t experienced the incredible hospitality of the folks at DFW NORML. Their annual Global Marijuana March held on the first Saturday in May, is always one of the biggest in America, dwarfing marches in larger cities with much more lenient marijuana laws.
You’d also be surprised by how many bar owners in the Dallas–Fort Worth area cooperate with DFW NORML to provide a toker-friendly environment for their numerous events—and even more surprised at how good some of the home-grown weed is in Texas these days.
Madison hosts the last pro-pot event on the fall calendar: the Great Midwest Harvest Fest, which happens on the first weekend of October. This year is the 46th annual event, which means that it predates the Ann Arbor Hash Bash by two years, making it the longest-running marijuana celebration in America. Who would have guessed that the two oldest such events in the country would both be in the Great Lakes region, not in California or New York?
Madison is another great college town with a city ordinance that allows the private personal possession of marijuana, and where getting busted for public possession is just a $100 ticket.