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Posted on Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:35 a.m.

Share your Hash Bash photographs and memories with

By Staff

Ahead of this Saturday's 40th annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, we're seeking your memories and photos of the event that started in 1972 as a cause celebre for the release of activist John Sinclair and evolved into part giant party, part rally for the legalization of marijuana.

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Hash Bash participants rally on the Diag in 2010.

We're looking for voices to help tell the story of the Hash Bash and how it's changed. Were you at the original rally? Do you have photos from past years to share? Have a great memory or story to tell?

Email reporter Ryan Stanton at We'd like to use your submissions as we prepare our coverage of this weekend's event.

As longtime residents may remember, the first Hash Bash was held on the University of Michigan Diag in 1972, in celebration of the success of the "Free John Sinclair" movement. Sinclair was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana joints in 1969. John Lennon and Yoko Ono held a "Free John Now" rally at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor in December 1971. Sinclair was released three days later.

Organizers at the time said they hoped the event would become an annual tradition. What does that tradition look like today? Tell us.


Kenneth P. Spitz

Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

I was across the street in 1972, a senior at Pioneer High School, I used to smoke from 1972- 1987. I also went, to Negril, Jamaica before Bob Marley was born. But, "I Can See Clearly Now" what John Sinclair and Jeannie Plumondon(sp.) warned us about...Know your weed, or ANY other drug before you ingest it. Even back in the old days, people laced or cut their drugs with harmful ingredients like PCP (an animal tranquilizer). I would much rather have drugs be highly regulated and tested for their purity, like Nevada regulates its brothels...everyone deserves a clean buzz. Think of how much the tax base would increase. Remember, we're still in a recession in Michigan. Then think of how many overdoses could be prevented. I hope 2011's Hash Bash went well. Peace.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

memories??? uhhhh....i forget!!


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 11:27 a.m. should research the role that the Hash Bash had in the establishment of the University Dept. of Public Safety. I am told by local police and lawyers that UM was unhappy that the Ann Arbor police would not arrest people on campus smoking marijuana but just gave them a ticket. UM decided it needed a police department that would do what the administration told them to do. We now have that.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 3 a.m.

BTW, the Hash Bash back in the 80's it was always well atended by the young Republicans, hawking some t-shirts and ejoying a contact buzz. Once High Times becaem involved the event took off again. Seeing your hgh school class mates in the magazine was alos pretty cool at the time, now they can just upload phots to facebook in two seconds instead of waiting two months for the magazine to come out.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

That is why Adam Brook has led people from the Diag to actually enjoy their stuff on Monroe Street so campus police will not arrest tokers. Some have ignored Brook's advice and toked to their heart's content right on the Diag and some have been arrested.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 2:53 a.m.

My first Hash Bash memory is my mom driving me down to Dascola's for a haircut late in the morning on April 1st. She gave a little curse under her breath as we inched up State Street toward Liberty. After parking the car and going in for my cut we waited around for my barber to come back from his lunch break to no avail.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 2:34 a.m.

@BobFox. I think you might want to stay home for this one, too.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

Smoking pot = parrot shaking = 10 months in jail. Smoking pot = 10 mnths in jail. Not in this country. Stop the drugs, stop the violence!

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 1:47 a.m.

Legalization of marijuana would be a huge step forward in the failed and foolish war on (sanity) drugs. See above. And it is American money that fuels the guns and violence in Mexico that has cost thousands of mostly innocent lives!


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:11 a.m.

How bout they re-name this "Stonerhenge". A mystical mysterious place where people go and get wasted , kill brain cells and damage their lungs. Good Day


Tue, Apr 5, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

There is this famous rapper named Snoop dogg. He smokes a LOT of marijuana, and is quite vocal in his support of cannabis use... I would think that, hypothetically speaking of course, if one were to support him, they would be looked at as slightly hypocritical if they were to then criticize recreational marijuana use. Am I gonna get deleted again? Probably, no one knows.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:51 a.m.

That would be like a football game or a bachelor party. Or St Patrick's Day!


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:04 a.m.

"Most all of us can tell of a friend, relative or neighbor whose life has been wrecked by the unfair and unjust selective enforcement of these drug laws" I won't argue that point. But I want to point out that most of us can also "tell of a friend, relative or neighbor whose life has been wrecked by the " use of drugs or alcohol.


Wed, Mar 30, 2011 : 4:38 p.m.

@calender Girl: YOUR comments are perfection on a bun ;)


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

David I don't think we are too far apart on this one. I have never used any drug and very little alcohol( non since my sophomore year in high school 40 years ago) No marijuana. But I do have a relative that completely destroyed his life after getting involved with drugs at the age of about 35. But the difference in penalties across this country for marijuana use is absurd and is proof there is no consensus on its damage.

Calendar Girl

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

I won't argue that point either, my sister killed herself 17 days ago and had a lifelong problem with drugs and alcohol (not pot though). However we all have friends, relatives, and neighbors whose lives have been wrecked by cancer, emphysema, and pneumonia yet cigarettes aren't only legal but the government taxes them. What about automobiles, used improperly they can be killers. Oh then there is all the hydrogentated fat in foods that causes heart attacks. All those things should be illegal since they harm us right? At least there will be plenty of law enforcement jobs opening up to round up all these lawbreakers.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

We don't necessarily advocate use. We just think the laws are silly and misguided. A huge difference. And you are correct about drugs and alcohol. But not marijuana. There was discussion on the news tonight of reclassifying marijuana from a class 1 drug a class 3 drug which would change many things.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

After reading some of the few sanctimonious comments here I want to say that personally controlled pot smoking can be GOOD. I am approaching 60 years of age. The 70's were the best times of my life. Many of us changed the world and got inspired somehow.....figure it out. I quit smoking that stuff to keep a job for many years. I think people should at least address the possibility of legalizing pot for seniors....I want a REAL retirement, bro! So I have to "sneak around" to get high? The rest of you good people who are trying to legalize pot, THANK YOU very much!

Calendar Girl

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

@ Mr. Ed-Why would he have to give up SS? If you get a speeding ticket I think you should give up your tax deduction. Fair?

Mr. Ed

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

Only if you give up SS.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

I would like to commend the AA police for their restraint over the years at the Hash Festivals.

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:31 p.m.

I wholeheartedly concur! They have taken a progressive and civilized approach for the most part and should be commended.

Mr. Ed

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:02 p.m.

It's not a protest It's a place where kids come out from their parents basement to smoke marijuana in Ann Arbor. Back in the 70's it may have been about protest.

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

You are simply wrong. You should come join us and see for yourself. And a little fun is good for everyone!


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

I condone the use of marijuana because it is illegal. But something that's legal and not categorized as a controlled substance is Argyreia nervosa. All the times I have consumed Argyreia nervosa I've had a fricken blast!!! I have not lost work, raped, or murdered anyone. If you try it make sure you are intelligent enough to thoroughly research it . This comment adheres to the conversation guidelines.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

"Hash Bash memories"? I would be surprised if any of the attendees could remember much of these gatherings.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 2:28 a.m.

Certainly, marijuana's primary effect on the brain is the impairment of short-term memory

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

You might wish to read above. I have been at about 15 of the 40. I remember. You should join us and see for yourself. And yes, it does embody the morality and values of many of our fellow citizens!

Buck Wild

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 9:38 p.m.

If you remember the Hash Bash, you weren't there.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

Ha, ha!

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 9:37 p.m.

The late Perry Bullard was a visionary leader and a strong advocate for change. John Sinclair comes quite regularly and speaks at the rally. Local advocate Chuck Ream is always present. The successful Medical Marijuana advocates are there to explain the current status of the newly passed law. There are usually one or two speakers who have been adversely affected by the silly treatment by our legal establishment as well as leaders of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws (NORMAL). While there is a casual atmosphere the rally is taken seriously by many citizens who advocate for the change in these draconian laws and the injustice in our legal system. The celebration on Monroe St the rally is where a lot of the fun occurs as visitors obtain information from the many organizations who have booths and are entertained by live music.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

"The late Perry Bullard was a visionary leader and a strong advocate for change." His chief legislative aide is still with us - David Cahill.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

Hash Bash is the largest event in the United States not sanctioned by the local Chamber of Commerce office. In the past it has bee attended by such luminaries as the late State Representative Jeff Bullard, and more recently, in 2009, John Sinclair, who came in from Amsterdam to attend. It is one event that embodies the morality and values of the City of Ann Arbor.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

You mean the "Trash Bash"? I lost interest after the first couple. At first it was an event that seemed to have meaning, but as it became a tradition the emphasis became party. I was disgusted by all the litter and low lifes. Perhaps it's different now. Haven't been to one since the first half of the 70s.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Sounds like you need a toke. Litter all you care about? Please.

Atticus F.

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

I've found there to be more "litter and low lifes" during home football games.

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

They don't gather just to smoke marijuana. Many of us don't smoke it. We gather to protest the insane War on Sanity that you call the War on Drugs. That War is just one more example of a War that America has lost along with the War on Poverty and most of our military wars since WWII. The only "winners" are the failed Drug Law Enforcement Complex and the Prison Industrial Complex. Billions upon Billions of our scarcely precious tax dollars poured down the drain in those failed efforst. Most young people between the ages of 16 and 30 can tell you where to find marijuana, cocaine and a host of other substances much worse. Most all of us can tell of a friend, relative or neighbor whose life has been wrecked by the unfair and unjust selective enforcement of these drug laws. Why can't our society learn from these failures?

Atticus F.

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 7 p.m.

Let's make somthing perfectly clear MR. ed...Attending a protestst is not illegal! Nor should it ever be!

Mr. Ed

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

Rodney marijuana is bad because it's illegal. The Ann is promoting an illegal event where people gather to smoke marijuana which is illegal under state law. Slaves and drugs are very different. All drugs including alcohol and cigarettes are bad for the body period. Why would Ann run such a story is very clear, to generate clicks to the Ann website. The more clicks the more money for ads.

Calendar Girl

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

If "bad" things (i.e. alcohol and cigarettes as you mention) should be illegal, why is it OK for the government tax these items? Why is that OK and Ann simply "reporting" (not a whisper of promotion in the article) on an event is not? Respectfully, I think you have your priorities backwards.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

Bad because it's illegal???? I jog better and further when I smoke pot! That's good for my health. It's bad that it's illegal! What is bad is if people could not control it.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Mr. Ed. I thought things were made illegal because they were bad and not determined to be bad because they are illegal. Just a thought.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

I never went to the Hash Bash because indulging in drugs is illegal and promoting them is immoral. Sorry to be the adult in Ann Arbor.

Calendar Girl

Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:07 a.m.

@JS-Your comments are perfection on a bun! @xmo-How does an article "promote" drugs? If you actually look at the definition of promote it reads "to help or encourage to exist or flourish; further." Nothing in this article promotes drugs. An adult would check their facts before spewing their morals on others and attacking actual adults for doing their jobs.


Tue, Mar 29, 2011 : 12:03 a.m.

You want immorality? Turn on the TV and watch that kick boxing crap....getting enjoyment from watching people get their faces bashed in. That's LEGAL so I guess that's OK by your definition. Noone is asking you to promote pot use. Be unimaginative. This is your right too.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

One more thing. To assert that the logic you are using to determine morality renders you an adult is a little wobbly. To blindly follow and not question laws and the government, as well as making blanket statements about morality to me does not seem very mature or adult like at all.


Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

I would assume that you must be referring to ALL drugs here. So under that logic, you don't drink coffee, pop, tea, or anything with caffeine due to the immorality of consuming mood altering drugs. You definitely would never frequent an establishment that would dare to promote the consumption of alcohol. As well, holding true to your morals, you would certainly not shop anywhere that sells tobacco. If you did, you would be basically supporting the promotion of tobacco which kills more people than all drugs combined. I'm sure you don't do any of these things right? because if you do then your post here would seem just a tad hypocritical....

Atticus F.

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

xmo, weather something is immoral is a matter of oppinion. But thanks for sharing yours.

Rodney Arthur

Mon, Mar 28, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

I don't do drugs or drink so I'm not promoting this but a slave wanting to escape used to be illegal too. Using your reasoning, this would mean promoting freedom for slaves was immoral. Drugs are bad, according to those who want to keep marijuana illegal. If that is the case, why are cigarettes and alcohol still legal? They are no better than marijuana, in fact some could argue that they are worse. Some of us, including me, have made the choice not to partake in these drugs but how can we prohibit others who made the choice to indulge when they are other drugs that are legal. We are all hypocrites and set double standards. We need to be consistent, legalize all or legalize none. We all need to be adults and acknowledge that.