Michigan‘s “Hash Bash,” a yearly rally devoted to marijuana and legalization efforts, is slated to kick off in Ann Arbor on Saturday, April 1st this year. While previous iterations of the event focused primarily on marijuana legalization in the state, organizers are hopeful that this will be the last year the event will be held prior to recreational legalization being implemented.
Activists in Michigan are seeking changes to state legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana for those that are 21 or older and would allow for taxation of the products in a similar way to alcohol. Their hard work seems to be paying off with over 360,000 signatures to get the vote added to the November ballot having been collected last year!
If the marijuana legalization efforts do prove successful, organizers say that future rallies will refocus on addressing potential policy changes at a federal level.
The 47th annual Hash Bash will be held next month at the University of Michigan, The Ann Arbor News reported . Politicians, professional athletes and legalization activists will speak at the event.
University officials warn attendees that campus police will follow state law and arrest people caught with marijuana on university property. Marijuana has been decriminalized elsewhere in the city since the 1970s, with the penalty being a $25 ticket for a first offense.
“Hash Bash has grown each year since the passage of Michigan’s medical cannabis laws. The event has also gained importance as a venue for activists, patients and public figures to speak out against the horrors of cannabis prohibition,” said Nick Zettell, co-chair of the festival’s planning committee. “The qualifications and reputations of this year’s speakers are unparalleled by years past and add legitimacy and diversity to the counter-cultural event.”
This year’s event could be the last that focuses on state prohibition, said Mark Passerini, the festival’s lead organizer. If marijuana is legalized, the next focus will be federal policy, he said.