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Posted on Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Politicians join call for marijuana reform at 42nd annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton


Police estimated roughly 3,000 people attended the 42nd annual Hash Bash rally on the University of Michigan Diag in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Related: Images from Ann Arbor's 42nd annual Hash Bash

Surrounded by thousands of cheering supporters and clouds of smoke at Saturday's Hash Bash, state Rep. Jeff Irwin pledged to fight for the legalization of marijuana in Michigan.

Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, said he's still planning to introduce a bill to decriminalize cannabis in the state, which he called a first step toward more sensible drug policy.

His bill would follow Ann Arbor's model and make it a civil infraction — instead of a crime — to possess an ounce or less for personal use.


State Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, rallies the crowd on Saturday by saying he wants to legalize marijuana in Michigan.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"Make sure you pick up the phone, write an email, and encourage your friends to do the same," Irwin said, calling on the ralliers to get active and reach out to lawmakers.

Irwin pointed to the successful 2012 campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado and said he wants to see Michigan follow Colorado's lead to end the war on marijuana.

Police estimated about 3,000 people attended the rally on the University of Michigan Diag, which they said was a little smaller than it's been the last couple of years.

Just as many or more were out at the festivities surrounding the Monroe Street Fair afterward near the law quad area, said Diane Brown, spokeswoman for the U-M Department of Public Safety.

Brown said campus police made 16 marijuana arrests and issued five alcohol possession citations, one MIP, and two trespassing citations. She said a few people were cited for selling items they shouldn't have, such as bumper stickers.

Police reported no major incidents, though Brown said five people had to be taken away by ambulance for seizures most likely as a result of synthetic marijuana.

The 90-minute rally at the 42nd annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor featured a long list of speakers who repeated calls for marijuana reform.

Hash Bash organizer and Michigan Moms United founder Charmie Gholson called for an end to what she described as a "ridiculous ongoing civil war against marijuana."

"The feds still hate you and want you in prison, my friends," she told the crowd. "They're hunting us and putting us in cages."

Speakers said they continue to face attacks on their freedom, but they're hopeful they'll continue to make progress in getting lawmakers to listen to them.


U-M graduate and Flint native Dan Skye, editorial director for High Times magazine, told the crowd the last Hash Bash he attended was in 1975.

Ryan J. Stanton |

They said there's never been a more exciting time for marijuana reform and they're slowly but surely winning the fight, city by city and state by state.

"This is a whole new era of marijuana. We're starting to be taken seriously," said Mark Passerini, a University of Michigan graduate and co-founder of the OM of Medicine marijuana dispensary on Main Street in Ann Arbor.

Passerini said he's seen marijuana help people with everything from stress relief to PTSD, muscle spasms, joint pain and arthritis.

"We love cannabis for all these reasons," he said, drawing applause from the crowd.

Channeling John F. Kennedy's famous 1961 inaugural address, Passerini issued a call to action: "Ask not what marijuana can do for you — ask what you can do for the marijuana movement."

Marijuana reform activist Tim Beck, described by some as the "godfather" of the marijuana movement in Michigan, highlighted the results of a new Pew Research Center survey that shows 52 percent of Americans say the use of marijuana should be made legal.

Beck said those in the minority who want to keep hassling people for using marijuana "don't get the picture" and need to get a life.

"It helps me physically feel better every day of my life," Chuck Ream, president of the Arborside medical marijuana dispensary in Ann Arbor, said of what cannabis has done for him.


Hash Bash organizer and Michigan Moms United founder Charmie Gholson called for an end to a "ridiculous ongoing civil war against marijuana."

Ryan J. Stanton |

Gholson said the war on marijuana is destroying families. She said she's tired of police "tasing kids for pot" and leaving them with arrest records that create barriers to education, employment and housing.

She said she's building a case for a lawsuit against police brutality and working with Irwin on an "asset forfeiture bill" so police can't seize people's assets before getting a conviction.

"I am perfectly capable of making my own health care choices," Gholson said, adding cannabis helps her deal with chronic pain, inflammation and even PMS.

"It does not make me a pharmaceutical drugged-out zombie," she said.

The mostly male crowd included a mix of young and old, many of whom lit up a joint during the rally, which spilled over into the Monroe Street Fair afterward. Some said they were there for the first time. Others said they've been coming to the annual event since the 1970s.

U-M graduate and Flint native Dan Skye, editorial director for High Times magazine, told the crowd the last Hash Bash he attended was in 1975.

He said he came over to the Diag that day, smoked a joint, didn't think he got high, but later realized he was high while he was in a conference with his student advisor.

Skye said he'll probably never see marijuana completely legalized in the United States during his lifetime, but he issued a call to the next generation of activists to carry the torch.

"This is a dangerous plant?" he asked. "I mean, outlaw poison ivy first."


Hash Bash ralliers, including some of the four-legged variety, were in good spirits on Saturday afternoon on the Diag.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Matt Abel, a Detroit-based cannabis lawyer, urged ralliers to call state lawmakers to push for hearings on House Bill 4271.

State Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville, introduced the bill in February to let local communities decide whether to allow medical marijuana dispensaries after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that dispensaries handling patient-to-patient sales are not protected under state law.

The bill has 16 co-sponsors, a mix of Republicans and Democrats, including Irwin, but hasn't moved forward in the Judiciary Committee.

Jamie Lowell, co-founder of 3rd Coast Compassion Center in Ypsilanti, said he's been told by those working directly on it that the bill is expected to get a committee hearing soon.

"It's time to change the laws. Marijuana is not wrong," Abel said.

City Council Member Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, spoke just before Irwin. She talked about efforts by her and her colleagues on the City Council to craft regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor in response to what she called a badly written state law.

"This was not my issue," Briere stressed, but she said it was a problem that needed to be fixed. "If we could just get the people in Lansing to listen, we'd be so much farther ahead."

Briere said the people of Michigan, including marijuana users, deserve to have laws that they can obey and that respect their individual rights. She said it's not to anyone's advantage to be "cluttering up jails" with marijuana users when there are more serous crimes to worry about.

"We're all hung up because the state Legislature hasn't passed laws that make dispensaries legal," she said, urging ralliers to convey the "human need" to their representatives.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

I can live with the decriminalization of Marijuana. No issues, so long as the same smoking bans that exist for tobacco exist for marijuana, and the same warnings on the packs for the impacts of tars and other by products are put on the packages. I am very happy to see people use it as an ingredient in foods that are designed to be used as medicines. I can be happy with people smoking it recreationally, so long as they do it under the same laws that regulate tobacco.

Jen'ari Fawkes

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

We need a executive order on this one ASAP, it is only fair. ALL public servants that live off of TAX dollars need to be drug tested THEY are our biggest welfare recipients.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

it's refreshing to know our elected officials condone smoking marijuana...................

David Wizard

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Why shouldn't they? It's dramatically safer than alcohol. So replacing alcohol as an inebriant leads to massive cost savings for the state. As public policy, it's a no-brainer.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

City Council Member Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward talked about: "efforts by her and her colleagues on the City Council to craft regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries in Ann Arbor..." Could there be a reason Ms. Briere talks abut "medical marijuana" instead of "medicinal marijuana? Why yes there is: it's because marijuana isn't a medicine!!! She also talked about, " urging ralliers to convey the "human need" to their representatives." Human need??? Well, I suppose addictions, once established, are a "human need." Funny though, there's about 1 million people in Michigan addicted to nicotine but there's no Democrat (or "3rd Coast Compassion Center" member) calling for "medical tobacco clinics." Why not? Pay attention, folks, you're being treated to a word game of the kind so often used by politicians bent on having their own delusions made into a reality we're all forced to live in. Their reality. Pot good, cigarettes bad - and that's the end of it, right? So now we have Democrat politicians openly declaring war on tobacco smokers while simultaneously trying to sanctify marijuana smokers. ""It's time to change the laws. Marijuana is not wrong," Abel said." - He's correct, a plant cannot be "wrong" - it's only human beings like Mr. Abel who can be wrong. :-)

Steve Bean

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

What are you afraid of?

Laurie Barrett

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

Would have been nice if the reporter had set the Hash Bash in historical context for readers who don't know what it really means.

Dan Richeson

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

. If you agree that prohibition must end then please print out copies of Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users, date and sign them and send them to ALL YOUR elected representatives AND to the United Nations. If you are REALLY passionate about this please help promote this. Thank-You, Dan Richeson Buy stamps, envelops, print out copies of: "Declaration of Rights of Cannabis Users", get the names and addresses of your state and federal representatives including the president and governor and, if you want, local reps. (Don't forget the UN) Address the envelopes, Sign and date the declaration, fold it and seal it in the envelope, affix the stamps and mail them BEFORE 04-20-2013. I realize it's a lot of hassle and some expense but prohibition is EVIL, there have been too many people spending too many years in prisons, too much paid in fines, too much property confiscated, too many innocent people killed by overzealous authorities in "marijuana raids", all to enforce a law that is unconstitutional to begin with. Am I asking too much of you? If you were the one behind bars, paying fines, forfeiting property, mourning the loss of a loved one, what I'm asking would seem trivial, wouldn't it? The laws regarding cannabis were born on the wings of lies and pampered by propaganda such that now the tightly held belief systems are going to have to reckon with the desire of all humanity to live with dignity, free from the oppressive tyranny that ignorance and bigotry have spawned! - - - - - - - - - - DECLARATION OF RIGHTS OF CANNABIS USERS Google it or find it on face book


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:03 a.m.

No thanks, I like it prohibited..................


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Yes, pot can cause health problems when abused. So can beer and most of what is available in any pharmacy section of any grocery store. Putting a percentage of your population in jails, giving them criminal records for life, making the drug cartels obscene profits and more is the result of keeping it illegal. Harm caused by the law is worse than the weed.

David Wizard

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

Terrible equivalency - alcohol poisoning directly kills tens of thousands of people worldwide every year, and hundreds of thousands more die from chronic disease caused by alcohol. Cannabis has no known lethal dose, and is not associated with long-term illness or cancer risk.

Soft Paw

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

I thought pot was legalized years ago


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Soft Paw, don't I wish!


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

One of the psychiatrists at the Forensic Center in Saline was telling me that pot can trigger latent mental illness such as schizophrenia. But newer studies suggest that even people without this latent tendency can develop mental illness, caused just by marijuana. It also causes memory loss and impairment when operating machinery. There are other ways to feel euphoric without ingesting any substances.

Jen'ari Fawkes

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Ask your DOCTOR if they want you to eat a cup of sugar or a cup of MJ.


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

I know a number of people who have been harmed by this "harmless" plant I like the reasoning that because it in natural that it is good for you. Arsenic is natural as is mercury but I wouldn't ingest it..........................


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Reefer Madness


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

Sounds like you're a pharma rep touting the new line of misinformation.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Not to mention that drug screens are essentially marijuana screens, to determine not if someone is 'impaired on the job' but whether they consumed the substance at all within the previous month, since it does not metabolize quickly enough. Enough people have lost jobs, housing, whole careers over this great example of the punishment hardly fitting the "crime". Like all the other (sensible) countries in the modern world, legalize it now!!

Jen'ari Fawkes

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

If people tested positive for all drugs 30days after using the number of unemployed people would quadruple. but the unemployment rate would go unchanged as they can't file for unemployment


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

BTW, a lot of drug testing is done by Dow Chemical, with which Attorney General Bill Schutte has ties. Go figure.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

Such people had the choice not to use the drug, which would have led to a clean test. it's their own fault. Why would they want to work for somebody like that anyway? It's really best for both parties to part ways. They need to go find somebody who wants to hire druggies.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

Hey grimmk, If you legalize it and take the MASSIVE profits out of it the drug cartels will want nothing to do with it. Will never work doing it the other direction, look at history and the way it has been going for the last decades. Cartels have darn near taken over countries with the incredible profits.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

"This was not my issue," Briere stressed... -- I have observed a pattern with Ann Arbor council person Briere: skirting around issues so it's difficult to know where she actually stands. Politicians motivated by self-interest and not interests of constituents sometimes behave this way. They hope it will appeal to (fool) the largest numbers of voters. If this is not your issue, Ms. Briere, why are you speaking at Hash Bash?

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

I wish the embarrassing event would just go away. Take it to Berkley, and take the hippies with you.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

"You don't deserve an answer" Is this a reasonable way to make an argument? Of course, it is pretty rough when you're wrong about something and frightened to admit to the fact. However, it is a bit noxious to act so Holier Than Thou when you can't make a reasonable argument. If you could win the argument with facts, your internet victory dance will be well-deserved. However, such banter is a bit unbecoming when you are unable to make a reasonable argument to support your questionable positions.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

You attempted to paraphrase my statement, but missed by just a few astronomical units, due to your insertion of cliches and myths about Conservatives. You don't deserve an answer.

Basic Bob

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:33 p.m.

If you are this easily embarrassed, you are clearly in the wrong place, not the event.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3:41 p.m.

Obviously what you don't want to do is answer the question.

Usual Suspect

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

"So, as a conservative, you do not want to see citizens assembling to petition their government, you support failed government policies that allow the government to seize personal property without a trial, you support higher taxes to support the imprisonment of thousands of low level drug users and sellers and you oppose adults making decisions removed from government interference?" What I don't want to see is run-on sentences.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

So, as a conservative, you do not want to see citizens assembling to petition their government, you support failed government policies that allow the government to seize personal property without a trial, you support higher taxes to support the imprisonment of thousands of low level drug users and sellers and you oppose adults making decisions removed from government interference? All because you are stuck on a term that has not seen popular use since 1975?


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Another distraction. Instead of figuring out how Michigan can survive when Federal Gov cuts funds, politicians spend time on feel good issues that get them votes. And they wonder why we support term limits.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Blame Obama for the state being broke, surely you jest! It's 30 years of mindless tax cuts by the state Republicans that have broken the state!


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Yes, legalizing marijuana will get rid of most of the thugs, just like lifting Prohibition got rid of most moonshiners. Hopefully, once it is a legal business the sales and grow facilities will get into commercial districts and out of residential neighborhoods.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

Why would you care if your neighbor is growing a plant? Do you have your eye on a future commercial grow? Looking to cut out the competition?

Malcolm Kyle

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:57 a.m.

Prohibition is an absolute wrong; those who support it are absolute wrongdoers—vicious parasites who pray on their own family, friends and neighbors, delivering us all up to be devoured by the most corrupt and venal elements in society. They are waging a predatory war on all we hold dear, bringing corruption and degeneration to our most cherished social structures and institutions. During alcohol prohibition (1919-1933) all profits went to enrich thugs and corrupt politicians. Young men, while battling over turf, died every day on inner-city streets. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have been far more wisely spent. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, (in 1929) the economy collapsed! Sound familiar? Are we (again) going to stand by and allow our wealth, safety and freedom to be sacrificed on the blood-drenched 'alter of prohibition' by traitorous demagogues who cannot control their own vile and sadistic urges? An ever growing majority of us no longer think we should!


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Amen, my brother.

Milton Shift

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 10:46 a.m.

I could not agree more strongly.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:39 a.m.

While I find nothing wrong with making pot legal, it's where it COMES FROM and who makes it that worries me. Most of it comes from Mexico and are linked to drug cartells who profit from selling it. I do not want to support them. Until we can stop the supply coming from them, pot still needs to be illegal.

David Wizard

Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

I don't know anyone who's smoked cannabis grown outside of Michigan since the medical marijuana law passed. As with food, everyone around here much prefers to be a locavore.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

The reason the drug cartels move MJ is BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL. De-criminalize it and let MI citizens grow it, sell it and let the state of MI collect tax on it like any other product sold. That removes the drug cartels reason for being.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

grimmk: "... it's where it COMES FROM and who makes it that worries me. Most of it comes from Mexico and are linked to drug cartells who profit from selling it." the 'it' to which you refer is compounded ... the drug cartels run heroin and cocaine, against which i will stand - weed is SUCH a minimalist import as to be insignificant proportionately. but it;s good 'cover'

Malcolm Kyle

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:56 a.m.

Yep, until we stop the supply of booze coming from Al Capone and his Mob, alcohol still needs to be illegal. Our prisons are full, our economy is in ruins, the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans have been destroyed or severely disrupted. What was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity has become a toxic, repressive, smoldering heap of hypocrisy and a gross affront to fundamental human decency. For God's sake, please wise up!

Justin Altman

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 5:46 a.m.

If it's completely decriminalized, why would anyone pay for imported product, when local options would be available? Once alcohol prohibition was ended the mob got out of the alcohol business and legitimate entities like Coors and Jack Daniels quickly provided the drugs in a peaceful, profitable manner.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:36 a.m.

So Jeff Irwin is pledging to fight for the decriminalization of marijuana. glad to see my tax dollars being used for you to take on the most important issues in our area, Jeff. We're already facing decreased tax revenue from businesses leaving, increased crime, fewer police and firefighters, increase in homelessness, a failing board of education...but who cares, as long as we can enable people getting stoned, right Jeff?


Mon, Apr 8, 2013 : 2:05 a.m.

Yes, it's more economical to suspend law enforcement against marijuana "consumers" (aka, addicts), so lets suspend ALL law enforcement because, after all, the logic is clear: it's less expensive just to let fools and criminals have their way. That's especially true now that we have such a "robust" and growing population of fools and criminals. The savings will be even bigger if we let up on them! Ho-ho!

Basic Bob

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Decriminalization will lead to lower costs in law enforcement, prosecution, and corrections. This money can then be spent appropriately on education, mental health care, and real public safety.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Squid, the largest tax loss is the $2B cut in business taxes by the Republikans. The previous 30 years of tax cuts starting with John Engler have sunk this state, decriminalization of pot may actually bring more tax revenue!


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

This figure is almost 10 years old, from 2004, but I think you may get the gist of my rebuttal: At a cost of approximately $28,000 per person, the State of Michigan currently spends in excess of $160 million dollars each year to incarcerate drug offenders. The actual cost to Michigan taxpayers is much higher because costs of incarceration do not include costs associated with crime investigation, prosecution, and defense of individuals charged with drug offenses. That is your tax dollars at work.

Malcolm Kyle

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:53 a.m.

Prohibition has cruelly ruined the lives of millions of peaceful and productive citizens while bankrolling the most evil people on the planet. Prohibition has stagnated the normal economy while allowing criminal enterprises to control an untaxed and thriving underground economy worth over 300,000 million dollars. By it's emphasis on the eradication of marijuana/hemp we have also been denied the most workable and logical solutions to a number of growing problems, be they medicinal, industrial, chemical, or commercial. According to the CATO Institute, ending prohibition would save an annual $41 billion of expenditure while generating an estimated $46 billion in tax revenues. Thanks to Prohibition, we now have a far higher percentage of our own citizens locked in cages than any other nation on the whole planet. Apart from the fact that these extra prisoners are not contributing economically to society, it also costs 50,000 dollars per annum to incarcerate them. Additionally, their families often go on government assistance, leaving the average tax payer to pick up the bill. Their kids may also be taken into care or raised by foster parents—again with our money. Now add to all this: the court costs, jail costs, and the salaries of all those people that have to deal with the enforcement of prohibition, like police officers, judges and public defenders—and you'll start to get a fair idea of why "Black Thursday" (October 24, 1929) happened during the period of another of our great experiments: Alcohol Prohibition (1919-1933) During alcohol prohibition, all profits went to enrich criminals and corrupt politicians. Young men died every day on inner-city streets while battling over turf. A fortune was wasted on enforcement that could have gone on education, etc. On top of the budget-busting prosecution and incarceration costs, billions in taxes were lost. Finally, the economy collapsed. Sound familiar?


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:56 a.m.

That's the whole point: marijuana isn't a huge problem, and we waste tons of resources each year treating it as though it is. And how many tax dollars are you imagining it will cost you, personally, for Irwin to lobby for decriminalization? I don't see introducing and garnering support for legislation as being a particularly expensive activity, compared to, say, the amount we spend to arrest and incarcerate marijuana offenders.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

The Michigan law enforcement community often target persons for raids and never bring criminal charges but only civil forfeiture proceedings. Remember the highly-publicized State Police raid on Chuck Ream's dispensary in 2011 in which $112,000.00 was seized? No criminal charges filed against Ream or anyone else but Prosecutor Brian Mackie filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the funds seized and Ream eventually settled the case with the County Prosecutor with Mackie getting more than 50% of the monies taken. Seems that law enforcement cares more about generating revenue from marijuana.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

This is the first time in recent years that local politicians have appeared to address attendees at Hash Bash. Last year none appeared, although presidential candidate Gary Johnson appeared in 2011. Longtime Hash Bash emcee Adam Brook is currently incarcerated on a 2-year mandatory sentence under the felony firearm law handed down by the Oakland County Circuit Court in connection with a raid by the Michigan State Police Narcotics Enforcement Team.

Michigan Man

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

Lot of lung disease, cancer, heart disease, drug addiction and low functioning minds in that crowd. Would like to count the physicians, engineers, business background CEO's, scientists, civic leaders, humanitarians, etc - probably not many. Looks like a fair percentage of the Ann Arbor Hash Bash crowd still living in their parents basement. Glad I was around that part of Ann Arbor today - would not want to get mixed up with that Ann Arbor element.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

my mind is made up. don't confuse me with the facts.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Interesting, facts over stereotypes! But I know a lot of people want to set policy on based on stereotype and propaganda. I am willing to bet that many downtown A2 businesses where happy to be "mixed up with that Ann Arbor element."

Malcolm Kyle

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:51 a.m.

MARIJUANA IS USED BY THE MAJORITY OF TOP SPORTS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE: "Everybody thinks that if you did this random testing you'd catch so many guys on PEDs. No, you'd catch more of the guys on marijuana. So [we've got] 475 guys under contract and 400 of them would be out with marijuana [suspensions]." —Dana White, president of the UFC. "At least a good 50 [US] Olympic athletes use marijuana regularly before they stop in time for testing." —Stephany Lee "I just let him know that most of the players in the league use marijuana and I have and do partake in smoking weed in the offseason" —Josh Howard, forward for the Dallas Mavericks. Howard admitted to smoking marijuana on Michel Irvin's ESPN show. "You got guys out there playing high every night. You got 60% of your league on marijuana. What can you do?" —Charles Oakley (Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets) "I personally know boxers, body builders, cyclists, runners and athletes from all walks of life that train and compete with the assistance of marijuana," —WWE wrestler Rob Van Dam * Even many of the best cricket players of all time, like Phil Tufnell and Sir Ian Botham, have admitted to regularly using marijuana to deal with stress and muscle aches. In 2001, half of South Africa's cricket team was caught smoking marijuana with the team physiotherapist. They were celebrating a championship victory in the Caribbean.

Malcolm Kyle

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 9:51 a.m.

1) Tobacco is cancer causing largely because it delivers specific carcinogens such as NNK and NNAL that are not present in cannabis. Not all "tar" is created equal, and tobacco has some of the most carcinogenic types of tar known to science, whereas cannabis does not. 2) Cannabis (marijuana) use is associated with a DECREASE in several types of cancer... potentially even providing a protective effect against tobacco and alcohol related cancer development. Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006. Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn't also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

John Thomas

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.

Whoops. You are full of misinformation. While smoked marijuana does contain some of the same toxins as cigarettes or any other kind of smoke, smoking marijuana does NOT cause cancer. For two main reasons. One, marijuana consumers inhale a tiny fraction of the smoke that cigarette smokers do. People standing on a busy street corner inhale more toxic smoke than the two or three puffs of marijuana. Second, researchers have found marijuana has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. The preeminent researcher of marijuana and lung disease, UCLA's Dr. Donald Tashkin, conducted investigations over 30 years, initially believing there must be a causal relationship. But he finally concluded that smoking marijuana does NOT cause cancer or ANY other serious disease. Additionally, marijuana is not addictive, and even the minor lung irritation that heavy consumption can cause can be easily avoided by eating, drinking or vaporizing marijuana. No smoke - no harm - at all. SAMHSA research determined more than 100 million Americans have consumed marijuana. That's near HALF the of-age population. There are an estimated 30 million current consumers. The vast majority consume moderately - on the weekends or less, and are successful, hard-working, respected members of their communities. They are from all walks of life and loved by the families they support. Marijuana is as American as apple pie - and much healthier. - Shame on you for vilifying millions of good Americans!

Colorado Sun

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3:06 a.m.

At least three U.S. presidents have used marijuana. Virtually all the speakers are university graduates - John Sinclair, Sabra Briere, Chuck Ream. Adam Brook, the longtime master of ceremonies owned his own retail business. Former State Rep. Perry Bullard was a decorated naval officer and Harvard Law grad and smoked pot at Hash Bash - his legislative assistant was David Cahill.

David Briegel

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:11 a.m.

Excellent speakers. The only solution to this problem is complete decriminalization. Anything less will be nothing more than a minor improvement over the stupidity of our current mess. Millions of lives and families destroyed for what is a basically victimless "crime". We don't need any law enforcement involvement of any kind. Anyone can grow it for personal use or resale. You can't stop it. We are only enriching the cartels and the failed Drug Enforcement Industrial Complex. Billions and Billions of dollars which we borrow from China to pour down this never ending rat hole! Free The Weed.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

We need to take more action against synthetic marijuana! It is far more dangerous than the real thing. Many teenagers, and their parents are not aware of the sideeffects- even brain damage that can occur. Take a stand against synthetics!


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

The FIRST thing we need to do is stop calling it synthetic marijuana. It is not marijuana. Let's call it by it's nickname, "spice" and stop giving cannabis a bad name! :)

Justin Altman

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

Full decriminalization of cannabis would be the only thing necessary to drive this crap off the market. Instead of calling for more intrusive actions, most problems in the world today can be solved by demanding that the state do less bad things.

Muzzy Lu

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Marijuana works very well for pain management. Unless someone has tried cannabis for pain, they should not venture the opinion that it doesn't work for medical purposes.  Pain management with cannabis requires the right dosage. Using marijuana edibles is the right way to maintain pain reduction. This book has great recipes for edible marijuana that are easy, small and cheap to make: MARIJUANA - Guide to Buying, Growing, Harvesting, and Making Medical Marijuana Oil and Delicious Candies to Treat Pain and Ailments by Mary Bendis, Second Edition. Only 2.99. Learn to make marijuana oil, delicious Cannabis Chocolates, and tasty Dragon Teeth Mints.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

Muzzy, I couldn't agree more, just ask my daughter Rachel who has had 4, yes 4 back surgeries, taken every pill that Big Pharma has in its arsenal(which, over time, not only results in reduced efficacy but also long-term liver/kidney damage!), and the ONLY thing that helps her manage her pain today is a hot shower and a joint. anyone who thinks this plant doesn't help to manage long-term pain should talk to her. thanks for alerting me to this book, I'm going to buy her a copy! sign me, Madeleine Baier, an unapologetic mom who loves her children and hates to see them in pain

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

Just updated the story with final arrest numbers from U-M police as of 7 p.m.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

Kyle Austin reported that the police on S. University last night had gas masks with them. So who is more dangerous?


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

Good. When the arrest count on last night's post-game come out we'll see who was better behaved.


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

Glad to see a strong turn out, too bad about the arrests. That part stinks and what kept me away, whats a pot rally without opening puffing ? 4/20 is coming up, sure the rally in Queens Park in big T will be "smoking", lol.

David Cahill

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 9:20 p.m. continues to spread the incorrect idea that a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision said that dispensaries are not allowed. All the court did was say that one particular dispensary business model was not allowed. Other business models are perfectly legal. Of course, it would be helpful to patients if the Legislature passed House Bill 4271, which broadens the kinds of legal dispensary business models and gives the decision over whether or not to have them to the various cities and townships.


Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

The media seems more than willing to perpetuate the "patient-to-patient" myth for the AG. In addition, they fail to remark that outside of the referenced ruling, there have been rulings in favor of patient-to-patient transfers without compensation. Dispensaries perform caregiver-to-patient transactions and some are switching to caregiver-to-caregiver transactions. When the language of the act was passed, the wording said "Primary Caregiver" in referencing who could grow the patients plants (in other words, it is a way for officials to keep tabs on which plants belong to whom.) However, the inclusion of the word "primary" in the law suggests that the patient will be procuring medicine from other caregivers., let's hear some stories about terminal cancer patients with 6 months to live waiting to find a caregiver and waiting for plants to grow. Let's hear the opposite side of the story.

Colorado Sun

Sun, Apr 7, 2013 : 3 a.m.

Were you there, Dave? I figured you might since Sabra was addressing the crowd.

David Cahill

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 11:02 p.m.

Thanks for the additional material. It's a great summary.

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback, David. I added in some additional background and clarification of what the ruling said and what that bill would do.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

farrrrrrrrrm aut! and rite arm as well ...


Sat, Apr 6, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

Cool, man.