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Posted on Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Hash Bash message in Ann Arbor: 'We are not safer because of the war on marijuana'

By Ryan J. Stanton


Richard Clement, a marijuana activist from Lansing, read a letter from imprisoned Hash Bash organizer Adam Brook, modeled after Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous letter from the Birmingham Jail.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The University of Michigan may be a smoke-free campus as of last July, but that didn't mean much on Saturday as the 41st annual Hash Bash kicked off on the Diag.

The aroma of freshly lit cannabis already was present as Nick Zettell, president of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, warned the crowd not to smoke and that police were watching.

Police reported multiple marijuana-related arrests but didn't have a complete tally as of early Saturday afternoon.

But beyond the smoke screen at Hash Bash, there was a deeper political message this year. For the first time in 41 years, activists are collecting signatures to amend Michigan's Constitution and repeal marijuana prohibition for adults 21 and older.

"I salute you, Ann Arbor. I salute you, Michigan — for being on the front lines in this struggle," said keynote speaker Steve DeAngelo, director of the Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif., and star of the "Weed Wars" TV show.


Steve DeAngelo tells the crowd of about 5,500 people to keep fighting for marijuana reform.

Ryan J. Stanton |

DeAngelo has been active in the national cannabis reform movement for nearly four decades, both in Washington, D.C., and in California, and he heads up one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries in the nation.

He encouraged a crowd of more than 5,000 to keep fighting.

"I know you've had a tough time here in Michigan," he said. "Like many other places, the voters of Michigan passed a law fully expecting it would be implemented, fully expecting that our elected officials and our law enforcement officers would respect the will of the voters."

Organizers of the campaign who spoke at the rally said the ballot question they're pushing is a direct response to interference by state officials to implement Michigan's Medical Marihuana Act, as well as increasing legal actions against state-registered patients and caregivers.

Speakers at the rally had choice words for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, who has argued the voter-approved medical marijuana law does not authorize dispensaries. He has supported efforts by prosecutors and local governments to shut down dispensaries.

DeAngelo's speech was heavily politicized and targeted Schuette and the Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. He accused Schuette of being in bed with the global chemical giant and said Dow has been terrified for years that the world will learn that cannabis-based medicine is more effective, less expensive and has fewer side effects than chemical pharmaceuticals.

DeAngelo characterized the war on marijuana as failed policy, and said it's a waste of government resources and makes victims of innocent people.

"Let's look at it. Their system spends billions and billions of dollars to criminalize one of the most beneficial and useful plants Mother Nature has bequeathed to us," he said, adding it's a system that forces people to buy marijuana on the streets.

"Our system provides patients a safe place to get their medicine," he said. "A place where patients can be confident that the medicine they purchase has been tested."

DeAngelo left the crowd with words of encouragement. "The darkest moment comes before the dawn," he said, "and that's where we're at now."

The Hash Bash rally on the Diag began in 1972 after local activist John Sinclair was sentenced to 10 years on prison for selling two joints to an undercover narcotics agent. The Michigan Supreme Court declared the law used to convict Sinclair unconstitutional and since then the annual gathering has focused on the goal of reforming marijuana laws.

Long-time Hash Bash organizer Adam Brook is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for a weapons violation, so this year's event was organized by three local drug policy reform activists: long-time Ann Arbor activist Chuck Ream, Zettell of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Michigan Moms United to End the War on Drugs founder Charmie Gholson.

Gholson and Ream co-emceed the event.

Ream offered his take on Brook's two-year prison sentence.


Ann Arbor marijuana activist Chuck Ream was in good spirits at Hash Bash.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"He's in jail because he's the emcee of Hash Bash and he went to Oakland County," Ream said. "That's a mistake."

Ream called Hash Bash a celebration of "the magical miracle plant that we love — the holy ganja that gives us a glimpse of heaven right here on Earth."

"And second, the Hash Bash is a fierce protest, a scream of patriotic outrage at the immoral policy of destroying the lives of American citizens through cannabis prohibition — over 800,000 people every year," Ream said. "Every 37 seconds one of us is taken down and we lose the liberty that Star-Spangled Banner just promised us, and it has to stop."

A letter from Brook, modeled after Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous letter from the Birmingham Jail, was read by Richard Clement, a marijuana activist from Lansing.

"In here, I have no First Amendment rights," Brook's letter stated, adding he could do "very little from in here" to support the movement except to write letters to "elected idiots."

"These idiots have no idea how much support this movement has," his letter continued.

Brook vowed to be back for Hash Bash in 2014.

"Smoke one for Adam Brook!" Clement shouted after reading the letter as the crowd erupted in cheers. "Let freedom ring for Adam Brook! Let freedom ring for Adam Brook!"

Speakers noted at Saturday's rally that Michigan activists are fighting back on many levels and there now are a number of local initiatives under way to ease restrictions on marijuana, enable dispensaries and establish local "decriminalization by exemption" laws.

Organizers were expecting 6,000 attendees and rough estimates on Saturday afternoon suggested there may have been close to that. Police estimated 5,500 in attendance.

Several local medical marijuana dispensaries used Hash Bash as an opportunity to promote their businesses and passed out fliers at the event.

Diane Brown, a spokeswoman for the U-M Department of Public Safety, said she wouldn't have a tally of the number of people arrested during Hash Bash until later Saturday, but she confirmed there were some arrests and some medical incidents.

While lax penalties regarding marijuana apply elsewhere in the city, campus police enforce state law on the university property, and state law says marijuana possession is a misdemeanor crime punishable by one year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.

Brown said there was at least one arrest for sale of marijuana. There also were reports of multiple people collapsing on the Diag. Huron Valley Ambulance arrived and took away at least one person by ambulance, but details about the incident weren't available.

Gholson used her speech to point out the crowd — though mostly male — included a mix of young and old people, men and women, people of different races, parents and grandparents, skilled trades workers, teachers and students.

"There are so many reasons to end this war on American families," she said. "We are not safer because of the war on marijuana."

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 9, 2012 : 5:11 p.m.

Freedom and Consciousness: I am pleased to read the response from Enso. I have not personally smoked Marijuana but have used the fresh leaves which are sometimes used in India to prepare some 'appetizers'. I have a little more experience in the area of Drug Abuse Prevention as I had monitored troops to prevent them from using controlled substances. Consciousness is a function that is associated with 'awareness', or knowing. I have awareness of my own thoughts and I know what I think about. Consciousness is distinct from thought and thinking which is altogether a different mental function like memory, and intellect. Man is not free to change his Consciousness, but, he is free to change the contents of his consciousness. I can change my way of thinking, I can change the reasoning that I apply to process my own thoughts, but, I cannot change the nature of my Consciousness. I explain Consciousness and Intelligence as the biological characteristics of Living matter; and brain is composed of that Living matter and hence has the ability of Consciousness and Intelligence. It is just not the brain, all living entities, all living cells have Consciousness and Intelligence and hence live and survive in their given environment. Marijuana is not the remedy or cure for the lack of satisfaction in living experience.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

The freedom to alter one's own consciousness should be the most fundamental freedom of all.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

What the pro-marijuana movement fails to grasp in their assertions that legalization of marijuana will help the sick, feed the poor, and solve Mexico's crime/civil war problems, is this: Like every other legal substance or activity in this country that people consume/partake in for pleasure, the government will, if it's legalized, tax the heck out of marijuana. So, you'll be able to get it and smoke it legally, but you'll have to pay tax on it. It won't be long before people start protesting the marijuana tax. A certain percentage of the population will farm it illegally to avoid the tax, while others will continue to smuggle it in from Mexico. The war on drugs will continue, to protect the revenue stream from taxation. When prohibition was the law, it was circumvented by smugglers and bootleggers, who manufactured illegal liquor. When that law was repealed, the smuggling pretty much ended, but making moonshine hasn't. It's laughable to think that it would be any different with marijuana.

Robert Granville

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

The sheer amount of money we spend on cannabis enforcement makes tobacco and alcohol tax enforcement look non existent. Your argument merely posits that we would have to deal with cannabis tax enforcement if it were legal. So what? Is that really your point? It's an especially weak one. Then again... every other anti-legalization argument is.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 6:05 p.m.

I'm astounded that anyone can even try to make a comparison between the right to be treated as an equal person, and the right to get high. Well done.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

None of this matters to me. None of it. It's all BS. You're saying, essentially, that there's no reason to continue fighting this failed policy, because it will only continue. I'm sure there where people who said the same thing about ending slavery and establishing womens rights. While you intellectualize and argue the merits and fine details of legalization, the failed drug war that ruins lives, skews police priorities and destroys families rages on. So you keep postulating. We'll keep working.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

Oh, and here's an interesting piece on cigarette smuggling: It would seem it is you who is in error.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

There's a reality show called "Moonshiners" which says otherwise. There's also the fact that the state government goes out of its way to track down Michigan residents who purchased tax-free cigarettes by mail order, then billed them: Prohibition was not repealed because every drunk in America got their acts together to lobby congress, it was repealed because the government realized how much tax revenue they were missing out on. If anything is responsible for marijuana's legalization, it will be the potential revenue for the state and federal governments.

Gersh Avery

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

It doesn't work that way for alcohol or cigarettes. There is no reason to expect marijuana would be different except for your gut feelings. The past shows us that you are most likely in error.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

No, we are not safer because of the war against weed. But users are worse off for using it. Yeah, it's probably better than alcohol....but WEED IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU, quite the contrary. I can see where it should be a personal decision to use it, but fans shouldn't pretend it's a panacea

E Claire

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

Harm, both of my parents were smokers, my mother smoked cigarettes and my father smoked pot. Both smoked daily. My mother had a heart attack and triple by-pass at 45 and died of lung cancer at 67. My father lived to the ripe old age of 86 with no smoking related health issues (died in an accident). I bet there's more poison in our water than in pot.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

@genetracy "Medical science" already knows about it...


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4 a.m.

So marijuana cures cancer Gersh? You might want to let medical science know that they have been wasting their time chasing other cures all of these years. With that bit of info, a Nobel prize might be in the offing for you.

Gersh Avery

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:54 p.m.

LOL .. panacea .. chuckle .. so if it fixes anything at all, it's a panacea? Cannabis is only good for producing a high? Just another form of whiskey? So what is it limited to being good for? According to you. FYI I made my bladder cancer tumor go away in 14 days using cannabis extract ONLY. Understand that?? My cancer tumor went away in fourteen days.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 5:42 p.m.

DIALECTICAL SPIRITUALISM : Man always exists with an inner sense of unknown dissatisfaction about his living experience. If dissatisfaction is the 'thesis', the 'antithesis' would be that of 'contentment' and satisfaction. Marijuana does not have the potency to lift man's mood and provide a true sense of 'contentment'. The gratification provided by Marijuana is very temporary and man would crave to find more gratification to find answer to his sense of dissatisfaction. This bondage and dependent relationship with Marijuana would not lead to Freedom or Liberation. The 'antithesis' would be that of getting connected to a source of Mercy, Grace, and Compassion. The reaction between 'thesis' and 'antithesis will generate 'SYNTHESIS' which I call and describe as 'Dialectical Spiritualism' which would provide a true sense of everlasting Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility that man is searching for.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

"Man always exists with an inner sense of unknown dissatisfaction about his living experience." -Sounds like a very negative philosophy. Not everyone is dissatisfied with life. "Marijuana does not have the potency to lift man's mood and provide a true sense of 'contentment' -Yes it does. Have you ever smoked? "The gratification provided by Marijuana is very temporary..." -All states of mind are transitory. "This bondage and dependent relationship with Marijuana would not lead to Freedom or Liberation. " -But the freedom to be able to do that does. "The reaction between 'thesis' and 'antithesis will generate 'SYNTHESIS' which I call and describe as 'Dialectical Spiritualism' which would provide a true sense of everlasting Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility that man is searching for." -All throughout history individuals have claimed to know 'the way.' And that their way is best. You strike me as just another one of these.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

Chuck Ream: "Every 37 seconds one of us is taken down and we lose the liberty that Star-Spangled Banner just promised us, and it has to stop." -- No, Chuck, it's the US Constitution Bill of Rights which protects citizens' rights in this country, NOT the Star Spangled Banner. You might be interested to know: consumption of mind altering drugs for the sake of a buzz isn't among the rights protected. What country (or planet) are you from, Chuck? The one good thing about stoners is that they're as effective at implementing their plan to make marijuana legal (like bread and milk) as they are at any genuinely meaningful, productive endeavor.

Gersh Avery

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:50 p.m.

Thank you .. Folks keep believing that we can't get laws passed etc. Keep thinking that way. We'll get them all passed before you wake up.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Chuck is a former teacher, too...mind altering drugs, I agree!

Jimmy McNulty

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

Can someone refresh my memory as to what the weapons charge against Adam Brooks was all about?

Jimmy McNulty

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 11:48 a.m.

Thanks, I spoke before I realized there was a link to a previous story in the article.

Gersh Avery

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

Adam told me it had to do with an old gun his wife owns. She keeps it upstairs. Adam can't make it up and down stairs. The handgun was not available for him to use. Adam was raided. I believe his plant count and weight were over. Accepting the weapon charge was a plea deal. I really have no idea why that would be a "deal."

Robert Granville

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

He uses cannabis as medicine and spoke publicly about it every chance he got. That's what it was about.

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

A concealed weapon charge from the eighties, but beyond that I do not know.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

The overwhelming majority of local residents ( like 99.9%) don't care about the Hash Bash. It's an annoyance to us, been that way for many decades. An individual's belief regarding the legalization of marijuana and our lack of interest in the Hash Bash have no relationship.

Robert Granville

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

You don't speak for anyone but yourself.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:03 p.m.

Looks to me like the message is "wear the goofiest hat you can find".


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

I was at Hash Bash yesterday. Sadly, the type of individual who generally showed up was definitely not the "poster child" for the legalization of marijuana. I don't know how it was for some of you int he 60's and 70's, but a lot of these marijuana smokers today represent the "Call of Duty" meets juvenile delinquent crowd. Unshowered, pierced, ratty-clothed individuals, all smoking cigarettes, and unlikely to have even finished high school were our City's answer to "the benefits of legalizing weed." These precious examples of humanity must have driven from the far corners and deepest folds of the state to be here yesterday. Perhaps in the near-future we can have another hash bash; this time we'll invite college students and graduates, as well as marijuana smoking professionals from Ann Arbor proper to paint our cause in a better light. As it is, Hash Bash is an example of the kind of socially and culturally mindless zombies you can get when things aren't done correctly.

E Claire

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

So SMC, would you be ok with being tested for alcohol consumption on a regular basis to keep your job? A pot high lasts about as long as an alcohol high so what's the difference? It's ok to get wasted on Friday night as long as its from alcohol? There's no difference and many, many professionals smoke pot.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : midnight

Oops, that should read "college grads" and professionals.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:59 p.m.

"Perhaps in the near-future we can have another hash bash; this time we'll invite college students and graduates, as well as marijuana smoking professionals from Ann Arbor proper to paint our cause in a better light." You'll have a hard time with that, since most college grand and professionals have to pass drug tests for employment. It's called being an adult.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

I was there, and I look like nothing like you described. But what gives you the right to judge? It is not all about the right to smoke weed. It is about ALL OF OUR FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS...not just smokers. The self-righteous do not realize this because they are closed-minded borderline narcissists. I ask, have you ever had anything or anyone save your life? Weed saved my life! Yesterday, I heard so many people say, "It saved my life." I had thought I was alone, because I do not share this information with just anyone. I want everyone to be aware of the fact that it has saved lives and it would be a terrible shame to vilify someone for seeking the same.

Blue Marker

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

Ah, to sit on high and judge your brothers and sisters. If only they would have decided to look and act more like you!

David Briegel

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2 p.m.

Chris, they said the same thing about us when we were young and stupid. And then we noble and saintly "older folks" turn loose the "authorities" to further demonize the young and stupid and put more obstacles in their natural path to the same adulthood we achieved. What a foolish cycle of lunacy we represent! Can't we do better? Are we really the same as our parents and grandparents were when we were young and stupid?

David Johnson

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:17 p.m.

This is a valid point and a great idea. It may be that the ballot box is the only place where professionals, college graduates and all of Ann Arbor can actively meet to work for change.

Malcolm Kyle

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:13 a.m.

As with torture, prohibition is a grievous crime against humanity. If you support it, or even simply tolerate it by looking the other way while others commit it, you are an accessory to a very serious moral transgression against humanity. * The United States re-legalized certain drug use in 1933. The drug was alcohol, and the 21st amendment re-legalized its production, distribution and sale. Both alcohol consumption and violent crime dropped immediately as a result, and very soon after, the American economy climbed out of that same prohibition engendered abyss into which it had foolishly fallen. "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else." - Winston Churchill


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

You equate torture with!

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

@braggslaw: there are many who support legalization, and polls show the numbers increasing annually. What do you have against people on welfare?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

......This is priceless.......Long-time Hash Bash organizer Adam Brook is in prison on weapons violations!!! Wow, what a surprise....

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

@thecompound, no, not saying anything of the sort. Just some edification. But, it looks like you googled him, so good on you! :)


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

So you are saying he didn't know that another person had guns in his house or he didn't know he couldn't be around guns because of his prior weapons conviction? And the scale was just for his own medicinal purposes?

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

Why a surprise? Do you know anything about it? I googled him, so I do know a little. I am surprised gun rights actvists aren't up in arms over it. Oh, well. He uses medical pot for a condition arising from his cancer treatment, and which persists after the treatment was finished. Undercover cops found guns registered to someone else in the house during the raid. An 80s concealed weapon conviction persists to this day, thus the felony business. While in prison, his condition continues, and although he reportedly gets treatment, it sounds rather medieval compared to just smoking a joint or eating a brownie. But, no, since it is easier to get snarky than to look into the matter, using the easiest research tool in human history...


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:43 a.m.

Noticing a significant drop in the number of articles coming out of post-hash bash. We understand. No doubt the office snack vending machine is way beyond empty.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Glad you guys are getting your jollies but I find nothing funny about a policy that does nothing to keep society safe, yet puts hundreds of thousands of Americans in handcuffs every year, gives them a criminal record and creates barriers to education, employment and housing. You guys should be concerned about your wasted tax dollars as well as the utter lack in solving violent crime that marijuana prohibition creates.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

I'm sure this story will be updated later ... 7-Eleven reports shelves wiped clear of Doritos.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:25 a.m.

The Hash Bash is nothing more than an event where a large group of adult adolescents get together, smoke a little weed, and then act like they are getting one over on their parents.

E Claire

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Blue Marker, you must not know many conservatives. I'm (well, kind of) a conservative and a Christian to boot and I not only smoke on occasion but also advocate legalization. Most of my friends feel the same way. The war on drugs has taken so many more lives, literally and figuratively, than using drugs ever will. The only reason pot is not legal is because the pharmaceutical lobby is so strong. Most people can't make their own xanax but anyone can grow pot.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:29 p.m.

What's wrong with ponytails now!? Bitter.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:07 a.m.

Hey Mr Blue, I was smoking the stuff long before you were born and by age 19 I found it is just another substance that causes an altered state of consciousness. If you and Paul want to put weed or any other legal or illegal substance in your bodies, have at it. I don't care. I find humor though that you pro-cannabis folks get your marching orders from some 70 year old weed advocate who ties his hair in ponytails.

Blue Marker

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Hey forgot to yell "Get off my lawn"!!! Cranky old conservatives with closed minds. Have another beer and tell everyone how wrong they are.

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

And advocate for the freedom to put in their bodies what they damn well please, but, what's the value of a detail in enlightened discussion?

Spicy Whitey

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

The United States of America has much bigger problems than what people chose to do to their own bodies, but sadly, the government focuses on the latter. What a shame.

David Johnson

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:16 p.m.

This was, in some way, addressed at the rally. There was a statement made by a speaker about the difficulties of the 'bigger problems ever being solved' by those who both created them and continue to profit from them. I appreciate the public forum for open debate. To me, the shame would be discounting what will soon be a majority of an opinion without listening first.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 10:56 p.m.

Why does this idiocy get so much coverage?

Madeleine Borthwick

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:08 p.m.

Bob.... it is NOT idiocy to stand up for a cause you believe in.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Yeah, freedom... who needs it?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:54 a.m.

OK David, then have all of the attendees stop claiming to being medical marijuana users.

David Johnson

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

I think there are two things to consider, the rally and the street fair. To me, the rally is not idiocy, because it is an example of American citizens working with democracy. Although I can understand someone considering the street fair idiocy, it is no less idiotic than alcoholic social norms.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 10:24 p.m.

I was at the Hash Bash today and it's peculiar how the media and the police department want to downsize the size of the crowd. I estimated, especially due to the weather, that it was closer to 7K people there enjoying the rally. It was a nice crowd, the speakers were organized and articulate, and it was a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Robert Granville

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

They would like to imagine that we are a small number and that we're all hippies, washouts, unemployed etc.... The idea that people of all sorts use cannabis as medicine or recreation literally kills them inside.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

So Adam Brook is a modern day Martin Luther King? That's a bit of a streeeeeetch

Madeleine Borthwick

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

ViSHa, let's see YOU go to jail for a cause you support!! (sound of crickets chirping) yeah, I thought so.....and yes, I voted you down.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 6:42 p.m.

I don't think MLK would approve............and he ddin't use weapons

Robert Granville

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Writing a letter from prison styled after MLK doesn't mean he thinks he is a modern day MLK. He's in prison for a weapons charge but he was prosecuted for his activism. Sound similar to MLK? You don't have to be the catalyst for the civil rights movement to be unjustly imprisoned.

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Saying his letter was written in the style of MLK is not the same as saying he IS a modern day MLK. To be honest, your assumption that such an equivalence was made is, itself, quite a stretch.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

I was at Hash Bash - solely in an observer capacity - and of course Chuck Ream and John Sinclair were there as speakers. There was mention of medical use marijuana, the political aganda to target sheriffs and prosecutors up for election this fall that are unfairly bringing legal proceedings against users and care providers. One thing that needs to be indicated that was not mentioned in the article was a speaker's description of ongoing the legal battle to put a referendum on the ballot for pot decriminalization in the City of Detroit. The proponents to put it on the ballot were denied ballot access, lost a circuit court battle to put it on the ballot, and have most recently won twice in the Michigan Court of Appeals.


Wed, May 16, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

Hi Roadman- Tim Beck, the head of the Detroit referendum, spoke early in the rally about this effort.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Legal dope within Detroit city limits. Yeah, that's just what the joint needs these days.

Mr. Ed

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

It must have been tough to leave the parents basement for the day. But wait I bet it was tough getting off the couch for the day. But wait. I thought it was all about medical use.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:05 a.m.

It IS tough to leave the parents basement for the day. I'm 56 years old and I can't climb the stairs as easily as I use to.

David Johnson

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

As a parent who lives in a house without a basement, it was easy for me to take my professional, responsible body to a location where I could freely state that I prefer marijuana over alcohol. Does that preference make me a bad person?


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

It's absolutely sad and appalling that the Hash Bash has come to this, though I'm not surprised. Back in the day, it was just a day to show up, get high and have some fun. Nowadays, it's simply a political football getting kicked around by various opportunists to further their capitalistic shenanigans. You wanna get high? Then go ahead and get high. There's no reason why you need to listen to some idiot on a stage with a microphone telling you why.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

It's about decriminalization. So you can "show up, get high and have some fun" and NOT GET ARRESTED!

David Johnson

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

Those idiots on the stage with a microphone are trying to help the 18-year-old kid whose life would be ruined by such a petty offense as (your words) 'getting high.' These political footballs could literally change someone's life.

Deb Anderson

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.


David Briegel

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

Prohibition doesn't work. Prohibition is a complete failure! The police were there doing what you taxpayers demand. Selectively enforcing these stupid Prohibition laws. Ruining a few lives while the majority participated in the civil disobedience that these foolish laws deserve. Meanwhile crime enforcement was put on hold for the day! Naive life right here in River City! Sign the petition to legalize. Get that evil big govt off the backs of our citizens! Republicans and Libertarians should be demanding this change! I am in total agreement with Chase on this issue!!

Madeleine Borthwick

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 : 2:02 p.m.

Amen, my brother. prohibition has never worked. people will do what they will do whether the gov't say they can or not. you'd think that the fat cats would have realized that by now. one can readily imagine them putting their fingers in their ears and chanting "I can't hear you, I can't hear you, I can't hear you".....


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Paul I never said that people weren't smoking plants before alcohol ( read again) --- my point was that alcohol is a much bigger part of our culture and has been for a long long time.

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Oh, dear, where to begin!? Tim, I would assume that a plant was being smoked LONG before people decided to ferment them!


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Prohibition didn't work because for thousands of years cultures/countries had been drinking alcohol. I wouldn't put pot in the same category because a much smaller group smokes it on a daily basis ( unless your related to Bob Marly ). It is much harder to take a privilege away than to allow it and then to make it illegal.

Chase Ingersoll

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

That's fine, but anyone who is really serious about decriminalization and free market regulation of the sale and consumption, needs to run as a precinct committee person and show up at their Democrat and Republican Party County Conventions, where as a precinct delegate, they will be able to vote for the members of the Executive Boards of these partys. The county executive boards in turn vote for district and state representatives who set the state wide platform that becomes the policy platform for each party. I'm doing my part in the Republican Party, and would like to know who in Washtenaw County is doing the heavy lifting within the Democrat Party. Chase

Paul Taylor

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Chase, don't you mean Republic party, like you use the term Democrat party?


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2:03 a.m.

good point.Chase

Robert Hughes

Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 2 a.m.

Tea is slang for "pot".


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

Maybe the tea party will change their name to the " pot party" or the "brownie party" or perhaps "the herbal tea party"


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

What happened to the youth ( pot smoking, anti establishment) movement of the 1960-70s ? The hash bash has turned into geezers for dope.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

@ Tim Obviously a comment from someone that wasn't there.


Sun, Apr 8, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

I was there and seemed to me that no more than 20% of the people there were over 35. The rest were all younger people. Oh, and by the way, I'm one of those "Geezers".

David Johnson

Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

This is not true. I am over 40 and attended the Hash Bash. There were many young people there and they all seemed to believe in the common sense movement of legalized marijuana. The people that spoke were older, but these are the people on the front lines of ending the failed war on drugs. The youth are there. And the geezers are too.


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

You answered your own question. The youth grew up.