Nearly 30 years ago, John Sinclair left Detroit amid a storm of controvery 

Looking back on 40 years of MT

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As we count down to our 40th anniversary in October, we’ve been revisiting our archives to highlight Metro Times stories that resonate in 2020.

29 years ago in Metro Times: Arts advocate and marijuana activist John Sinclair was selling off his record collection, getting ready to leave Detroit for New Orleans amid a storm of controversy. The former MC5 manager and marijuana rights instigator (he was famously jailed for possession, inspiring the annual Ann Arbor Hash Bash and an eponymous John Lennon protest song) says he was fired from his job as editor of Detroit Council of the Arts’ City Arts Quarterly when he planned to run a story about the Cochrane Plan, the Tiger Stadium Fan Club’s proposal that called for renovating Tiger Stadium (not unlike Boston’s Fenway Park) instead of building a new taxpayer-financed stadium as Mayor Coleman Young and Wayne County exec Ed McNamara wanted. (DCA refused to comment.) Ground broke for the Tigers’ new Comerica Park in 1997, Tiger Stadium closed in 1999, and Sinclair, after a stint in Amsterdam, eventually returned to Detroit, where he was one of the first customers to buy legal recreational marijuana.

What was happening: Babes in Toyland at Club Heidelberg, David Hockney exhibit at Detroit Public Library

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