Getting stoned with Benjamin King Anders
Last month Colorado made history by becoming the first state where residents voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In honor of this momentous occasion -- and while the specific legalities are being ironed out with the feds -- Backbeat, our music blog, decided to catch up with various members of the music community, the known imbibers, to get their thoughts on the issue. And now Show and Tell has decided to get in on the act. To kick things off, we're featuring local jeweler/glass collector Benjamin King Anders, who's shared his thoughts on Amendment 64 and how the new law will affect the community at large.
Westword: You obviously smoke pot?
Benjamin King Anders: Every day.
And it looks as though you are an avid collector of fine glass.
I collect glass all day. I usually don't get out of bed unless there is a new piece on my doorstep. I trade a lot of my work with a lot of glass artists.
How long have you been smoking?
Today [November 27] is my 28th birthday, so, give or take a few, fourteen years?
Have you ever had any legal problems related to marijuana?
Definitely. I've had a lot of legal problems. I had my house raided and they took a bunch of pot when I was in college. This was all before everything was legal, but looking back, what they took from me is nothing now. Had I gotten my medical card six months prior, it would've been nothing then.
Are you a medical patient now?
No. My card expired and I was waiting to see if 64 passed, and it did, so hallelujah! Some people made the right decisions and some of us voted. It seems that people are sick of watching people get hassled and go through the legal system for something that is not illegal... they voted the right way, too.
Would you care to speak on your thoughts on Amendment 64?
Sure, I have a lot to say about it. You know, some of my friends are heavily into growing, and 64 affects the market. From a business standpoint, 64 is going to change a lot of things. Especially if the feds let things go through, and you see it play out for six months and actual non-medicinal clubs start opening up. My current business partner in jewelry, he used to run a dispensary, and we are thinking about starting something like that up, if it can happen. A chill place with a lot of nice glass where you can smoke, hang out and chill out.
To switch gears a little bit, how long have you been making jewelry?
I've been making jewelry as an amateur/professional for the last three years, but I've been doing it as a hobby for seven or eight years.
Tell me a little bit more about your work, which is some of the most unique stuff I've ever seen.
It's all sterling silver and 14kt diamonds in the bottom. Some of my work has citrine, rubies, sapphires and all kinds of gems. It's all done by hand with my tools: a Dremel, handsaws and files. I cut and shape all the silver myself, and I've been teaching a lot of my friends how to do it. It's interesting and we've been making money off of it. We started mixing glass in with the metal, and it's amazing. When I use marbles, they make the piece for me.
I feel like the marbles add an organic balance to your work, which is more or less mechanical looking.
Definitely! It's robotic as fuck, for sure. It almost feels like those things [marbles] are fueling the mechanics of each piece. I send a lot of stuff to galleries, but to the collectors that I've sold to, they usually retail around three or four thousand dollars. That's why I don't have one around my neck. I gotta pay rent, man! To be honest, I prefer this to money (pointing at a large painting he recently received in trade,) so as long as the rent is paid and the jars are full, I'm good to go!
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