2011 Ann Arbor Hash Bash

2011 Ann Arbor Hash Bash

words and photo by: Telegraphy

On the morning of Saturday April 2, 2011 I headed down to Ann Arbor, MI, a large college town thats home to a little known school of higher education. You might of heard of it. Its the University of Michigan, better known for it's now second rate football team U of M, bio-tech research, statistical analyst studies of everything from house hold social economic impact in the nation, too, how many words a gossipy 16 year old can spew out in a twelve hour period.

But I didn't travel 50 miles (on my day off work) from my home on the east side of Detroit just to hob-knob with college jocks and calculator button pushing nerds. No, I came here on this cold
overcast spring morning to experience for the first time what it's like to hang out with a bunch of twenty-something stoner's. The smoking kind, the ones your parents told you about. And to get a contact buzz......... yea, O.K. moving along here .

You see Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan has been host to the Hash Bash for the past forty years. It could be concidered Michigan's only public marijuana sit in rally/protest. This event affectionately named the Ann Arbor Hash Bash happens on the first Saturday of April on the campus of U of M, rain or shine. People from all walks of life gather here to mingle and publicly smoke weed, no matter what the legal recourse is.

After driving forty-five minutes to get to this event of forbidden acts, I became victorious finding a parking spot in a college town of no parking spots. As I stepped foot on the campus and having no idea where the rally is to take place, I began looking around for stoner's and hipsters. Knowing all to well that where there's a group of people looking the part; thats where the action is going to be. After walking around the campus and seeing nothing but the usual stereo typical studious student types, I finally spotted a small group of maybe two-hundred or so, all hanging around the front stairways of a unknown to me "old building or lecture hall". "Ahh", I confidently assured my self, "this must be the place" "if this isn't the rally, I'm going home to go back to bed only to wake up to look at myself in the bathroom mirror overwhelmingly disappointed that I didn't get my information right". You can tell that this happend to me before. "It is the place, look theres a stoner and standing next to him writing out a ticket is one of Ann Arbors finest", again assuring myself as I strolled down the walk way along side of the lecture hall.

I inquisitivly made my way to the front lawn where all the action was. At 11:45 a.m. just before the rally was to begin at 12 noon, I saw many interesting people, mostly colorful hippies artfully pounding on their bongos and the twentysomthing college partiers that are only there to do one thing. Smoke dope and pick up girls. Others were like me, curious individuals that are not there to smoke but who is there to watch.

As 12 noon came around the crowd all of sudden doubled and then tripled. It's as though everyone was summonsed by some unheard whaling call, like a call to prayer, but this was not a prayer service it was a mass public bake session. The air suddenly became saturated with the familiar intoxicating aroma of weed, probably all different strains of all "kind"(no pun intended folks). Groups to the left of me, to the right, in front, in back were all lighting up joints, bowls, blunts and bongs you name it, every type of weed dispensary apparatus was being used. The event organizers voice came blaring through the pro-sound speakers that looked like they were loaned by a local art-rock band for this event. He starts off with a simple disclaimer,"even though you are on campus property it is considered to be public property, so if you plan on smoking be prepared to be ticketed for anything below an ounce". After that "required" declaimer, the M.C. commenced to warming up the crowd of what seemed to be thousands of smoking ralliers by directing them to turn too one another and just say "HI!!".

As the rally built up so did to fog of pot smoke above the crowd. The lite winds for that day slowly carried away the billowing exhaled smoke south-wared. I can picture a farmer in Ohio ingesting all of that THC goodness while working his field.

Walking around the outer skirts of the crowd I saw more illicit drug use. It became clear to me like a alcoholic who (at some point in their life) experiences a moment of clarity. I notice that the crowd started to become interested in what was happening in front of them on the steppes of this old lecture hall and not on their joint rolling technique. In other words this rally or gathering wasn't about stoner's coming together just to openly smoke, no, it was more then that. It was transforming into a public awareness forum. A political march about the right to smoke if you will.

Plenty of guessed speakers took the mic like a group of American business men at a Chinese sushi bar. Notable ones were (undeclared) New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who preached about marijuana legalization, green party speaker Matthew Abel, and of course one of the original Hash Bash organizers and world renown poet John Sinclair.

At this point in the rally yours truly had to depart this seen of excessive dipsomania because the parking meter (which by the way was fed $1.50 for one hour) was beyond it's time limit. And so I am also beyond my limited literary know how, so thanks for reading.

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