Ann Arbor has very lenient laws regarding the possession of marijuana – a $25 fine first $50 second $100 third (and subsequent) offense -- and is a simple civil infraction rather than a criminal offense, such as misdemeanor or felony (see Marijuana laws in Ann Arbor, Michigan). Even so, the campus of the University of Michigan sits upon state property, and so anyone caught with marijuana on any campus location is subject to the more strict state marijuana laws. As this is the case, there is a separate but heavily related event following Hash Bash just off campus known as the Monroe Street Fair, where there is usually a live show accompanying the many street vendors selling extravagant bongs and other paraphernalia, along with a Michigan NORML booth.
The second annual Hash Bash, in 1973, attracted approximately 3,000 participants. That year, state representative Perry Bullard, a proponent of marijuana legalization, attended and smoked marijuana, an act which later earned him criticism from political opponents.
Hash Bash participants did not encounter significant police interference until the seventh annual event, in 1978, when local police booked, cited, photographed, and released those participants alleged to be using illegal substances.
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