ANN ARBOR, MI – Although hundreds of students and pot supporters were smoking marijuana Saturday in Ann Arbor, there were no arrests at the 47th annual Hash Bash, police say.
Two people were arrested during the pro marijuana rally Saturday, April 7, but the arrests were unrelated to Hash Bash, University of Michigan Deputy Chief of Police Melissa Overton said.
Thousands came out for the two-hour rally, which had athletes, politicians and activists speak and call for a legalization of marijuana.
Police arrested a record 74 people at Hash Bash in 1999 and 56 in 2000, Overton said. Only one person was arrested at last year’s Hash Bash. That was for a violation of the controlled substances act, Overton said.
Overton said the annual rally has had a steady decline of arrests over the past several years due to cooperation between police and attendees.
“Overall, the crowd was cooperative and that is what we ask when they come to the University of Michigan,” she said. “The steady decline is due to education and enforcement.”
While marijuana is still illegal in Ann Arbor, it is punishable as a civil infraction. The fine usually comes with no court date, according to Ann Arbor police. Selling or illegally distributing, however, will get you arrested.
The rally took place on the University of Michigan Diag. Speakers included finalist of NBC’s “The Voice” Laith Al-Saadi, Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidates Gretchen Whitmer and Abdul El-Sayed, and former Detroit Red Wings’ player Darren McCarty, among others.