Ann Arbor Officials Prepare for 50th Anniversary Hash Bash

Ann Arbor Officials Prepare for 50th Anniversary Hash Bash
High Times

Festival organizers and local officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan are busy preparing for the 50th anniversary Hash Bash, a celebration of cannabis scheduled to return to the University of Michigan on April 2 after two years of virtual festivities. Since 1972, pot enthusiasts and activists have taken to an open area on the UM campus known as the Diag to protest cannabis prohibition. And even with the legalization of recreational weed in Michigan in 2018, the event still serves to shine light on the nation’s failed cannabis policies.  The last two years, however, in-person festivities were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual events were held online instead. Now, with vaccines readily available and the pandemic appearing to be waning, Hash Bash will be returning to fill the air above the Diag with clouds of smoke once again. It promises to be a welcome return for Ann Arbor businesses that provide goods and services to the happily high revelers. Frances Todoro-Hargreaves, executive director of the State Street District, said that Hash Bash is one of the best business days of the year for merchants in the downtown area, especially for restaurants and other food vendors. “Anything that brings people downtown, especially a traditional thing like Hash Bash, is good for the community,” Todoro-Hargreaves told MLive. Because Hash Bash takes place on the university campus, the city of Ann Arbor does not have jurisdiction over the event itself. Nonetheless, city officials are busy preparing for next month’s return of the pro-cannabis festival, including making plans to suspend sidewalk occupancy permits and peddler licenses to ease congestion in the area surrounding the Diag. Debra Williams, the city’s special events coordinator, said in a memo to the city council that this year’s Hash Bash will include a four-point safety plan put in…

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