The first cannabis contest of the ¨Amigos del Cannabis ¨ from Chile was held outside Santiago city, I was called to help as one of the judges of the cup. I then called up my friendly expert crew which included Lupo from Pure Sativa, the great Chirri from Argentina, our good friend Porotito as well as Juan Vaz the big Uruguayan hero who has a lot of influence in the Uruguayan government. My big friend Alex ¨Gato¨, a real legend and the big expert of South America, completed a great ¨marimbero team¨, we had lots of fun which made our job a complete pleasure.
A whole week of cannabis activities was planned, it all started in Usach (national university) with a conference dedicated to cannabis history, we had a great audience and the place was incredibly cannabis friendly.
This was a great conference topic, especially here in this country beside the great Andes which have such an incredible hemp history; it seems that Chile used to export huge amounts of hemp oil during the nineteenth century, the valley surrounding the Andes was chosen as the best place to grow enormous amounts of hemp, but it all ended around 1968. With the worldwide prohibition on Cannabis, many of the villages around the fields adapted by producing vines for wine production. Most of these villages have many inhabitants related with the long history of hemp in Chile, many families have a relative that used to work on the hemp industry in the old days. There are old pictures and films showing the hemp fields surrounding the enormous Andes.
We had a nice meeting on Thursday with a group of growers, there we had the chance to talk with them and get updated on the overall situation of cannabis in the country concerning legal aspects as well as security problems. I was surprised to see more samples of indoor than outdoor strains, even though electricity has a high cost. The point is that there is still a lot of fear among the people, the ¨war on drugs¨ policy is still there to cause harm, so everybody maintains a relatively underground atmosphere. This is the main reason why there is more indoor than outdoor, even when the climate is ideally suited to outdoor growing.
The final event was held on Saturday at a beautiful country residence surrounded by trees and snowy mountains, more than 300 brothers and sisters of the Chilean cannabis family gathered to celebrate the first cannabis cup of the biggest cannabis forum in Chile. The final outcome came in my final message to the growers: I encouraged them to recuperate that lost hemp heritage and use it as another tool in the normalization process that we’re in. Also, I advised them to go back to the fields and grow with the sunlight in that fresh mountain environment, that is where the best ganja could be grown. I am sure I will return to Chile to rescue hope and show the world the hidden treasures of hemp’s history, and prove why prohibition was a stupid idea in the first place.
Mike Bifari In Weed World Magazine Issue 108