Registration for the 2002 Cannabis Culture Tokers’ Bowl was to take place at BCMP Headquarters on 307 West Hastings in Vansterdam at noon. The Gordon team arrived around 12:30 to see whether Marc Emery had left them their guest passes.
High Voltage Tom, who had contributed the Verde Illuminso, was already squirting people in the mouth with a high-powered Budahol concoction of Jamaican rum, which they held under their tongues to achieve a body numbing effect as they stood in line.
Bubbleman, who had entered the Renne, was demonstrating a new fangled vaporiser using hot air and offered his now famous Bubblehash to patrons in an ornate glass pipe. Standing next to him was Joe the King of Nepal, who had spent 20 years in Nepal and written a book on Nepalese religious customs. He said the Bubble was better than temple balls.
Michelle, Marc’s high powered executive assistant, efficient as always,was registering guests and happy to give the Gordon team their reserved guest packages, which came in a hemp bag from Hemp Co and included incense from Cabbage and Kinx , a Judges Tally sheet with only alphabet letters to distinguish the strains, some stickers and other goodies.
The Team had our pictures taken for ID tags, were instructed to wait, help ourselves to the brunch buffet until 4pm and then meet our contact at a caf? near the St Regis Hotel where many of the guests were staying. There we would pick up our bowls of 26 varieties of primo indoor BC Bud. It was nearly impossible to compare the effects as sample after sample was devoured.
The evenings festivities were to begin at the New Amsterdam Caf?, adjacent to the BCMP headquarters.
After we received our share of Bubblehash, we popped through the small door behind the bubble-bar connecting the new Amsterdam caf? to BCMP Headquarters. We went through the quieter chill room, where tables and candles had been set up for people to sit and roll at, and wound our way through the basement of the new Amsterdam, past the lonely DJ and his 80’s tunes, up the winding staircase to the main hall and the caf? where revelers had already began celebrating.
A huge buffet was set out, with enormous salads and breads with everything available from kiwi juice to coca-cola and coffee. The grill was offering chicken kebabs, salmon steaks, veggie and non-veggie hamburgers and hot dogs.
At every table people were trying out their samples. The air was already a haze of marijuana smoke. My wife, Jill, spotted Rev Damuzi at a table with extra spaces near the salad bar. The highly spiritual Church of the Universe minister, dressed in velour robes like Jesus, was having the vegan portion of the feast provided. He was preparing some sacrament for smoking, which I and my wife – after the appropriate nodding of blessing – matched with our own herb from the bowl that Emery had given us.
When Rev Damuzi left to go out and smoke some organic tobacco, we began to wonder if it would be worth sacrificing our table to go find out where all the canna-celebrities were hiding out. Just then, Renee Boje with baby, Shiva Sun, and husband, Pot-TV Manager and Director, Chris Bennett, author of the classic text “Sex Drugs Violence and the Bible” (www.Forbiddenfruit.com), joined the table. In walked Pam Stevens of X-FM. whom the Vigil group had emailed with Marc’s invitation and press pass.
Pam came to our table and thanked us profusely. She had been spamming all the events on her broadcasts and looked on it as a wonderful opportunity to be on the inside covering the events. American Drug War refugees, who had recently received much media attention – fighting not to be extradited to certain death due to their catastrophic illnesses to the US penal system – stopped by our table. First Steve and Lucy Tuck and their ornate bubbler with some of Steve’s bubble hash, then Ken Hayes, life of the Canna-revolution, who’s also seeking status as a Drug War refugee in Canada, and of course the elegant and gracious Kubby’s – always dressed impeccably. Steve’s wardrobe provided by the Men’s Warehouse. The blond bombshell mother of two, Mrs Kubby, who co hosts their news show on Pot-TV, looked beautiful and fresh as always. Even she was toking this time.
Cici, the tap-dancing chef, took off her shoes at our table. She was very interested in StonerVixen’s photography. She planned to look over Jill’s Island Bud shots when she was good and high in her hotel room over the weekend. She liked to get high before selecting photos for the magazine. Cannabis Culture editor, Dana Larsen, bleary eyed as usual, dropped by the table as well with Christina, saying “No weed; No work”.
Marc Emery, the true Prince of Pot and patron of the rebellious arts, who would spend 70,000 on the Tokers’ Bowl extravaganza, stopped by our table. He was followed by the lights of the documentary filmmaker cameras. Marc congratulated us on organizing the Better Ideas Rally and finalised the preparations for the Drug War Vigil Memorial Group’s Video Film Fest had planned for next day.
George Bailey had come up with the idea of the Drug War Vigil Memorial Group, a think-tank for social justice and social justice journalism and film, so as to commemorate annually the tragic human cost of the Drug War. Bailey had put up 500.00 of his pension towards first prize for a video contest. Marc had liked the idea and George’s sincerity and commitment so much that he had offered a further $1000 in prize money. Mark requested Chris Bennett to promote the event on Pot-TV. The response had been overwhelming with more than 10 entrants from around the world. Marc climaxed the contest by renting an theatre, the Blinding Light Cinema on 36 Powell St for four hours. He flew in Steve Sobel, the writer behind the disturbing Drug-War movie “Resin” and gave him his own $1000.00 prize.
The Vigil Group handed out cannabutter-chocolate-chip cookies and brownies to the 50 or so Tokers’ Bowl patrons who managed to find the tiny theatre. Before Marc left, he donated a big bag of two kinds of Blueberry to hand out like Halloween candy to the patrons at intermission. Some were so shaken by “Resin” which played first, that they did not stay for “Crack the CIA”, “Truth or D.A.R.E.” , “D.A.R.E. Remix”, “Day of No Joe” or “State of the Union”. State of the Union was a brilliant funny film created by students of Colorado.
Marc asked for a Video Contest again next year and that it be a permanent fixture of the Tokers’ Bowl. After watching the entries, we rushed home to get ready for the evening’s events, Arabian Night at Mona’s Lebanese Restaurant on Hornby near Davie at 7pm.
Arabian Night at Mona’s
On arriving at the restaurant we found that most of the guests were in attendance. Sheets hung like tapestries from the walls. We saw the canopy which would have been the head table but was really an array of cushions where Sultan Emery held court with the Kubbys, dressed in formal dress and tuxedo perched on cushions beside him together with Queens Council, John Conroy, with his wife. Dana Larsen, Cannabis Culture editor, was one side of him with a white Arabic headgear and Cleopatra style eye liner. There were two body-painted green nymphs clinging to Marc. Gigantic glass bongs stood on the tables in front of them. On the floor was the Bennetts, the Tucks and the Hayes. There was a traditional Lebanese band as well as a DJ and other performers. The most exciting performers were the belly dancers,one of which appeared to mesmerize Sultan Emery by carrying a full-lit chandelier on her head. She worked the entire banquet with an almost demonic, fiery Cheshire grin on her face which would seduce any man not shackled.
High Voltage Tom broke out his Bubble-Hash at our table and we still had samples to smoke as the appetizers arrived.
Dana Larsen and Ken Hayes came by our table and made use of it for a bubble session. They both looked wasted and were hilarious, both so witty. When Richard Cowan joined in with his dry wit and innuendo, the table was in stitches. Things became more hilarious when Sultan Emery came by to bow to his emissaries and promise to get high with them as soon as he came down enough from 8 successive Bubble-Hash bong-hits. he left, stumbling out the glass doors, to gasp some air.
The final course arrived at our table. It consisted of a platter with a huge mound of wild rice, covered in chunks of lamb and chicken cooked Lebanese-style.Watching George attemopting to keep his eyes off the off-duty, naked, body-painted female dancers was highly amusing.
We still had a long journey home on the Number 19. We wondered if we would be too burnt to make it the next day for the Liberation Day March at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 2pm where we would march to the US Embassy and DEA offices.
March to the US Embassy and DEA offices
Arriving at the Art Gallery, we found there were hundreds massed already, in large part due to Pam Stevens, who had promoted legalization to the young people who listen to X-FM.
The Carnival Band played. The crowd reached critical mass very quickly, prompting the organizers, in lieu of a sound system in place, to begin the march very quickly – perhaps even leaving some late-comers behind. The media reported that 3000 people marched and it was definitely more than the 1000 the year previous. Some of the Americans were nervous of publically smoking pot and marching on their own embassy. The police recorded all with their spy cams. Everywhere people were smoking up freely and sharing. Marc could be spotted in the crowd handing out joints and “Marc for Mayor” pins like candy.
By this time the sound system had been set up. Malmo explained why all were gathered, then Chris Bennett gave a short rousing speech from. Marc Emery announced his candidacy for Mayor and noted that Mayor Philip Owen’s so called Four-Pillar approach had ended up with only one pillar, namely “Enforcement”.
Then it was time for the Beefy Treats Band to blast out their tunes. They appeared completely polished and played with complete confidence. They had gained much notoriety since they performed at last year’s march.
After the March, we met up with Momakind, selling raffle tickets for an ounce of Juicy Fuk – with proceeds going to the Sunshine Coast Compassion Club. Before long, it was time to remind Dana that the Tokers’ Bowl Judges needed to register for the boat cruise at 6pm with sailing at 7pm. David Malmo Levine and Rielle from the Compassion Club just made it on board before the final whistle, Michelle having asked the Captain wait for them.
The ABITIBI (seated dinner capacity of 220) took us through the quiet waters of Indian Arm. The gourmet chef had created a magnificent menu to suit everyone tastes; BBQ salmon and wild rice, Thai salad, steamed carrots and other vegetables.
George discovered a cabin on the top deck that looked as if it was the staff dining room, situated behind the Captain’s Cabin. He was given permission to turn it into a hot box with help from the boys from the bookstore. The Kubbys came in with Pam Stevens. Just about everyone on the ship made it in and out of the cabin for a toke, away from the damp wind and rain on deck Everyone who came into the cozy cabin was overwhelmed with the smoke and after a while they just wanted to stay, even have their supper there if they could.
There was a rumour that Emery had arranged to give the Captain his own Tokers’ Bowl. To everyone’s surprise, the Captain announced that they were at sea and there was little chance of authorities boarding. The Captain told all to feel free and light up in the dining hall and that he was glad to have such a refreshing change of clientele on board .We sat with the Tucks and the Bennetts for the cruise and joined in the dancing. Marc was giving away handfuls of bud again.
I sold some copies of my book, “Flash’s BCMP Chronic Chronicles”, and bonded with many of our southern neighbours before we docked again at 11pm. We booted it home,too exhausted and too old to go to any all-night after-partys. We had to be up in the morning to attend the final day of the Tokers’ Bowl, starting with brunch at 12:30 pm and going till 10 pm at a secret warehouse studio location in Kitsalano.
A Judges table was set up for the brass; Michelle, Marc, Chris, and David Levine; who were studiously going over the ballots as they were handed in. Through a glass door was the kitchen and dining area, with lofts set with tables and semi private rooms in which to toke or eat. To made up for the lack of seating area in the lounge, most sat on cushions or on the floor.
I signed up for the Joint-smoking Competition which sounded easy and signed my wife, StonerVixen, up for the Joint-rolling-style Competition, knowing I had seen her roll excellent tulips during the election – such as tourists fall asleep smoking in Holland.
I choked badly in the Joint-smoking Competition. I did not know that I would be judged on how fast I could smoke and not on general style. The ritual was bizarre. I couldn’t see anything during the contest, just the huge number in front of me. I could hear my wife urging me to go faster while Marc Emery was shouting that “Gordon is wasting his tokes!”. I tried to inhale and stifled a cough and felt my face turn scarlet. First place was already finished. David Levine had said the roach must be “not smokable”. It seemed the roaches all ready turned it were kind of long. I tried to finish mine down to nothing. I thought I placed third but was actually placed fourth.
My wife did much better in the Style Competition. The only thing holding her back was that she hadn’t been given enough pot. An appeal to Judge Emery gave her more to work with, on the proviso she smoke it later with him. The tulip, which she presented with flair, won first prize. She then smoked up Judge Emery with it.
The first round of the Bong Competition using BC bud eliminated many but qualifying rounds with Bubblehash eliminated all but Eric, including Yana the female contestant. The winner got a beautiful bong and cushioned hemp bag to carry it.
The Vigil Group presented the winners of the Drug War Vigil Video Contest, namely “Crack the CIA” and “State of the Union”. It’s such a small world. The breeder of Burmese, Jordan of the Islands,whom the Bookstore boys had recommended to Marc, won first prize and also won second prize for Renne. Bubbleman won third prize with Renne and fourth prize went again to Jordan for Blue God. “Jordan’s going to be impossible to live with” Marc quipped. Bubbleman too had him over a barrel with the market cornered on Renne. High Voltage Tom came in 6th place with Verde Iluminso, Flash’s favourite.
We ate our fill of salmon, pasta, chicken, pastries and coffee then said goodbye and exchanged emails with practically everybody we could. The first annual Tokers’ Bowl had been an unprecedented success.