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Photo: Angela J. Cesere/
Thousands of partiers filled the University of Michigan Diag last year for the 39th Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor. The 40th celebration is at high noon on Saturday.

​On April 1, 1972, stoners gathered on the University of Michigan Diag in Ann Arbor for the first ever Hash Bash, a countercultural cannabis celebration now in its 40th year. The reason for the original Bash was Michigan’s new marijuana law wasn’t going to take effect until after the weekend, so for a brief time there was no cannabis law on the books.

“We kind of wanted to have the Hash Bash to defy this law,” recalled activist John Sinclair, reports Ryan J. Stanton at
​According to Sinclair, activists were marking the occasion when the state lowered the penalties for pot possession from 10 years to one year, and for sales from 20-to-life to four years. “We didn’t think that was far enough,” Sinclair said.