Alain Berthiaume, owner of Montreal’s Hemp Quebec and the Quebec Seed Bank, was sentenced to a year in prison on November 18, 2002. Berthiaume’s charges stemmed from his November 2001 arrest at the third annual Cannabis and Hashish Cup in Montreal, an event he founded and organized.
Police had entered the festival hall late in the evening of the first night, when most guests had gone home. They took Berthiaume outside the venue, where he was handcuffed and taken away to spend two nights in jail. Yet the event continued on successfully without him, and over 500 people had the chance to enjoytwo days of awesome food, fine entertainment and eight different samples of pot and hash (CC#35, Canadian cannabis competitions).
At the time, Berthiaume remained defiant, saying he would challenge the police in court, and would hold the event again in 2002. Yet just one week before this year’s Cup was to take place, Berthiaume was sentenced to a year in jail for hosting the otherwise successful 2001 pot party and cannabis competition.
The Quebec Cup was cancelled on short notice, with a full refund made on all tickets sold. Berthiaume’s sentencing came only days before this issue went to press, and we will have more details on his situation in our next issue.
Toronto and Vancouver
Berthiaume’s jail sentence marred an otherwise successful fall season of Canadian pot contests.
In Toronto, the two-day second annual “Canadian Calyx Awards” included an evening boat cruise, plus a “Cannabis Forum and Film Night” which had speeches from prominent Ontario activists such as lawyer Alan Young and the Marijuana Party’s Larry Duprey.
At an awards dinner which included hemp-fed chicken, the 100 judges chose the locally-bred Mountain View for first prize, Hashmaster from Doc Bush Seeds took second place, and Juicy Fruit from
Sensi Seeds came in third out of the dozen strains which were entered into the competition.
In Vancouver, Blunt Brothers hosted the “BC Fall Harvest Cup” with about 200 guests sampling 16 different strains of bud over a four-day event that included a boat cruise, a pipe-making contest and a small hemp fashion show. Malcolm McKinnon from High Times was on hand to help host and award prizes. Blue Hawaiian Sativa from Jordon of the Islands took the prize for best indoor, organic Texada Timewarp from Fresh Headies won for best outdoor, and Hashplant from “J Bogger” won for overall best bud.
Still coming is Vancouver’s second annual Tokers’ Bowl in May 2003, to be hosted by Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery. By the time you read this, the 200 tickets for this special event are likely all reserved. Clearly, despite Berthiaume’s tragic imprisonment, Canada’s pot-people can’t be kept from celebrating our culture!
? Quebec Cannabis and Hashish Cup: www.quebeccannabiscup.com
? Canadian Cannabis Awards: www.canadiancannabisawards.ca
? BC Fall Harvest Cup: www.bluntbros.com
? Cannabis Culture Tokers Bowl: www.tokersbowl.com