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ANN ARBOR, MI — The Hash Bash marijuana rally that was supposed to happen this Saturday in Ann Arbor is postponed until fall, but organizers are still planning a digital version.

Instead of thousands of cannabis enthusiasts gathering on the University of Michigan Diag to smoke and hear various speakers talk about the marijuana movement, they’ll gather on the web as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The official digital Hash Bash streams live starting at high noon Saturday, April 4, organizers announced in a news release, encouraging those who want to catch the action to tune in at PlanetGreenTreesTV.com or HypedUpLiveSessions.com.

“This broadcast is in recognition of Mr. Hash Bash Adam Brook who emceed the event for 20 years and in gratitude and dedication to the legendary John Sinclair who got it all started 49 years ago!” the news release states.

The virtual Hash Bash is expected to feature many of “the usual suspects,” said Jamie Lowell, one of the organizers, noting that includes many speakers known to attendees of the annual rally that traces back to 1972, along with new voices.

A history of Hash Bash and marijuana activism in Ann Arbor

The speakers list includes cannabis breeder DJ Short, High Times editor Danny Danko, former Detroit Red Wings player Darren McCarty, Michigan cannabis attorney Matt Abel, state Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, state Rep. Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, and many others.

Some will be joining live via Skype while some submitted pre-recorded messages, Lowell said, adding they’re still trying to confirm if stoner comedy legend Tommy Chong can participate.

For any diehards still thinking of gathering on the Diag this Saturday, Lowell said, the Hash Bash committee doesn’t condone it, as COVID-19 needs to be taken seriously.

Some people who had been planning to go against the warnings of health officials have since changed their minds, he said, because they now realize the seriousness of the pandemic and the governor’s “stay home” orders.

It would be unconscionable for people to gather for Hash Bash at this time, he said.

“This is a serious health issue,” he said, calling the virtual rally the best they can do under the circumstances. “Stay home and smoke your joint along with everybody else.”

The number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 respiratory illness in Washtenaw County continues to climb, with 233 as of Sunday, March 29, including 61 people hospitalized, five deaths and 15 recoveries.

Statewide, there were 5,486 cases and 132 deaths in Michigan as of Sunday.

Coronavirus fears postpone Ann Arbor’s Monroe Street Fair, partner of Hash Bash to the fall

Saturday’s digital Hash Bash event is being hosted by Lowell, vice president of The Botanical Co., and the Planet Green Trees crew, including attorney Michael Komorn, Rick Thompson and Debra Young.

After over two and a half hours of the virtual rally, the broadcast is expected to transition to featuring music and more, including comedian Krissi Kinney.

The virtual event is free and proceeds from sponsors will go to the Hash Bash committee to help fund the actual in-person rally when it is rescheduled, Lowell said, indicating there’s no set date yet as organizers see how things play out with the virus outbreak in the coming months.

Sponsors include Komorn Law, Michigan Cannabis Industries Association, Act Labs, The Botanical Company, Arborside, Om of Medicine, High Level Health, Michigan Cannabis Business Development, Ancient Extractions, Grow Green MI, Elevation Station, Planet Green Trees and Jazz Cabbage Cafe.

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