The 44th annual Hash Bash took place Saturday, April 4 at the University of Michigan. The Midwest’s premier pro-pot event drew an estimated 6,000 people to the sprawling Ann Arbor campus. This year’s event included an appearance by cannabis icon Tommy Chong and the announcement of a bill to legalize marijuana in the Wolverine State.
State Rep Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) told the crowd he was drafting legislation that would legalize recreational pot. “It’s going to be Colorado improved in the Great Lakes state,” Irwin promised the enthusiastic audience.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero echoed Irwin’s sentiment: “It is a shame that in the year 2015 pot is still politically polarizing … A lot of people are still afraid to embrace legalization. I’m proud to say my thinking has evolved.”
Medical marijuana also featured prominently at Hash Bash as personal testimonials were delivered to the crowd. Jim Powers explained that cannabis oil successfully treated an autoimmune disease afflicting his 6-year-old son Ryan. However, Powers expressed his disappointment with the implementation of Michigan’s medical pot program, adding, “The state of Michigan has failed my family.”
Tommy Chong received a warm greeting from the crowd and quipped: “I’ve been at a bunch of these Hash Bashes. I don’t remember ’em… but people said I was here.”
Not surprisingly, the 76-year-old Chong called for federal decriminalization of marijuana and the rescheduling of cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act. And then, Chong stated, the government should “get the fuck out of the way.”
The only negative news of the day was the arrest of three Bash participants by the University police. All three were charged with marijuana possession with intent to deliver.