Marijuana: Adam Hartle on his new A64 movie and smoking pot in front of Tom Tancredo
We first introduced you to Adam Hartle in January 2013, when we reported that ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo had promised to puff a joint on camera as part of the comedian/filmmaker's movie about Amendment 64 should the measure pass -- which it did.
Adam Hartle and Tom Tancredo in a scene from "Mile High -- The COmeback of Cannabis," premiering tonight in Denver. More photos and a video below.
Tancredo later welched on his bet under pressure from his family. But in Mile High -- The COmeback of Cannabis, the now-completed documentary, which screens tonight through Thursday (with Hartle promising to give out free legal pot to adults 21 and over outside theaters), Tancredo watches as the director blazes. Learn more about that scene and the project as a whole in a photo-and-video supplemented Q&A with Hartle below.
"I lit up during an interview with [Tancredo] on day one of legal sales last January in one of the final scenes to our film," the Florida-based Hartle notes via e-mail. He adds that he kept this get-together secret until just days ago "because the Republicans were using his support for A-64 against him [during his recent run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination] and I didn't want to give them any fuel for their fear-mongering fire."
Prior to the Republican primary, which Tancredo lost to another former U.S. Representative, Bob Beauprez, Hartle answered a series of questions about the movie, starting with Tancredo's original bet, made prior to Amendment 64's passage in November 2012.
Hartle also shares buds in the film with former judge turned cannabis attorney Leonard Frieling, a regular Westword interview subject.
Westword: Were you surprised by all the attention you got after Tom Tancredo made you a bet about smoking a joint with you if Amendment 64 won and then backed out on it?
Adam Hartle: Yes, very. The entire country was talking about it for a week. From my perspective it was just two dudes talking about burning one down together one day.
Have you heard from Tancredo since then?
We talk all the time. He's actually a really nice guy despite being a politician. I'm an independent and find all politicians to be corrupt [people] that will do and say anything to get elected, but that's a whole other conversation haha.... I feel bad for him right now. I was talking to him yesterday and he was telling me about all the attack ads running against him all over Colorado. He's the current leader in the Republican primary for governor, which makes him the target of smear campaigns from the other dudes (another reason I don't like politicians -- haha).... Hopefully the voters in Colorado are smart enough not to fall for it.
I know you were looking for another politician to smoke with you after Tancredo reneged. did you get any takers?
Yes. It's one of the final scenes in the film, and it was awesome (shameless plug alert). And if anybody wants to see it, there are still some tickets left to the premiere July 8th at the Mayan Theatre and you can reserve your seats right now!
You had to edit Tancredo out of your Indiegogo fundraising trailer. Did that cause you problems when it came to raising the money you needed to complete the project?
Another screen capture from "Mile High -- The COmeback of Cannabis."
It wouldn't have mattered either way. Like you do with all friends, you get over disagreements pretty quickly. I'm lucky to have made friends with all the people I interviewed in Colorado for this film, and they're all going to be there at the premiere, so we can't wait to see them and get back out to Denver! As for the money, I funded the film myself, which in the end is ideal because it's 100 percent independent and only director Anthony Hashem and myself had any say on the final cut. And the film came out much, much better than either of us could have predicted.
How much money did you raise through that campaign? Was it enough to finish everything up? Or did you need to find money from other sources to complete it?
We came really, really close, man. The final budget on the film came out to $25,000. I have a wife and twin 2 year olds, so coming up with the extra side cash to produce the film wasn't easy. But I joke that this film is my third baby, and like all good parents, I'll do anything for my kids, right? My wife jokes that she's leaving me if I spend anymore on the film -- at least I hope she's joking haha!
Continue for more of our interview with Adam Hartle about his Mile High -- The COmeback of Cannabis, premiering in Denver tonight, including more photos and a video.