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Saturday April 19, 2014
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Hash Bash, 1977




Depending on which teenage friend I asked, I got all sorts of answers to that question:

1. Something like a Florida spring break hosted by the university to recruit new students to a school with a party atmosphere.

2. The city of Ann Arbor lifted the laws on marijuana for one day every year, but just on campus.

3. The Ann Arbor police had to get rid of all the marijuana they had taken in raids, so one day a year they gave it away, with a stipulation that it had to be smoked on the Diag.

I was extremely gullible. After all, these were my friends--why would they lie?

Now I know they lied because it was funny to make up stories and funnier to see somebody swallow them all hook, line, and sinker. But since I didn't smoke marijuana, I didn't need to find out what the Hash Bash really was. It would be years before I learned that it had started in 1972 as a celebration of Ann Arbor's marijuana law, which reduced the penalty for possession to a $5 (now $25) ticket.

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