If you weren’t in Ann Arbor, Michigan on April 2nd, you missed one hell of a celebration. The 45th annual Hash Bash took place at the Monroe Street Fair, and hundreds came out to support. The peaceful protest was mainly educational, with speakers highlighting the medicinal benefits of marijuana and advocating for new legislature. One speaker, former Detroit Red Wings star Darren McCarty, got up and spoke about his gripping alcohol and painkiller addiction and how marijuana has helped him not only cope with his tremendous lingering pain, but find new hope. “It is about education, and me standing up here, as a full blown alcoholic who has fought years and years that demon, pills,” McCarty told the crowd. “Because when you play the game we play, the doctors will prescribe you anything to get you up, get you out there, and get you to bed, and that is no way to live. Through this plant, there is life.” The event had many other notable speakers, including legendary comic, actor, and marijuana conquistador Tommy Chong and local politicians such as Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.
Since the event got rolling back in 1972, Michigan has drastically loosened its Marijuana laws. Currently, the state has a medical marijuana program set up for patients in need and has decriminalized the drug for nonmedical users. Ann Arbor resident Chuck Foksel, who is spearheading a petition to get marijuana legalization on the ballot in Michigan, said, “I believe cannabis is something that is harmless, and something being compared to things such as alcohol. I believe it (legalization) could bring a large amount of much needed tax revenue to the state, while at the same time being one of the largest social justice issues of our time. We lock up so many people in a cage over a plant — it is ridiculous.”
Even though much progress has been made, Hash Bash will continue on until true change is made. If you want to be part of the movement, make sure you’re in attendance next year for Hash Bash 2017!