Comedian Tommy Chong and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero joined thousands of weed advocates at this year’s pro-marijuana rally at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday.
Chong, 76, famous as half of the duo “Cheech and Chong,” headlined the 44th annual event.
The comedian joked he’s been to hash bashes before, though he doesn’t remember them all.
“I really have one message for the government of the United States: decriminalize it,” he told the crowd, according to MLive.com. “Today is a celebration of the greatest plant known to me. I’m going to smoke one right now.”
Weed lovers from Michigan and beyond swarmed the University of Michigan Diag at noon for a two-hour rally featuring speakers and activists.
The annual event, dubbed a “speak out and smoke down” protest, is a celebration of all things cannabis, also known as “The Hash Bash.”
Serving as the political backdrop for this year’s festivities is the prospect of a 2016 ballot initiative to fully legalize marijuana in Michigan.
A marijuana advocacy group called Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee is planning to launch a petition drive to legalization pot in Michigan in 2016 in an effort to expand the state’s medical marijuana law.
So far, 23 states and the District of Columbia have either legalized medical marijuana, decriminalized it or both, according to the National Cannabis Industry Association. Four more states — Alabama, North Carolina, Nebraska and Ohio — have decriminalized pot possession.