In typical Hash Bash fashion, born and raised Ann Arborite musician Laith Al-Saadi will be playing the national anthem on guitar at “high noon” and lead into a spoken word performance by poet and activist John Sinclair from Flint.
“It’s purely Ann Arbor to kick it off, and I think it’s so important to keep that aspect intact as we move forward with Hash Bash just because the culture is so incredibly important,” said Conine. “Culture is what has gotten us here.”
Sinclair’s arrest for possession is what started Hash Bash in the first place.
In 1969, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of two marijuana joints, which led to a boom of high-profile names calling for his release. Three days after John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder and other big-name artists and activists descended upon Ann Arbor for the John Sinclair Freedom Rally in 1972, the Michigan Supreme Court declared the law used to convict him unconstitutional. He was freed and the state’s marijuana statutes were temporarily left in limbo, so activists threw the first Hash Bash on the Diag at UM on April 1.
Other speakers at this year’s event include:
- State Sen. Jeff Irwin
- State Rep. Yousef Rabhi
- Dr. Sue Sisley, leading cannabis researcher
- Joel Zumaya, Detroit Tiger
- Dr. Gus Rosania, U of M professor who teaches PharmSci 420
- David Knezek, representing the Attorney General’s office
- Dr. Daniel Kruger, U of M faculty
Speakers will be addressing the crowd from noon to 2 p.m., and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. the following local bands will be performing:
- Ma Baker
- Honey Monsoon
- Cosmic Knot
On the Sunday after Hash Bash, organizers recently began holding panel discussions with cannabis experts aimed at educating the general public. This year, the two panels will take place at the University of Michigan Law School’s Hutchins Hall at 625 S. State St.