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Marijuana: Comic looking for politico to smoke with after Tom Tancredo welches on pot bet

Update: Yesterday, we shared Florida-based comedian-filmmaker Adam Hartle's frustrated reaction after ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo welched on a bet to smoke legal pot together after the passage of Amendment 64; see our original coverage below.

Now Hartle tells us that he's had to edit Tancredo out of a trailer created to raise money for his planned A64 film because he doesn't want to mislead potential investors.

Tancredo, virtually the only high-profile Colorado Republican to campaign in favor of Amendment 64, told us last week that during an interview with Hartle, who spent time in Colorado last fall collecting footage for his documentary, "we made a bet -- and even though I was supporting 64, I bet that it was going to go down. He said, 'I don't think it is.' And then he said, 'If it passes, will you smoke a joint with me?' And I said, 'Sure,' not thinking it was going to pass. But it did."

Tancredo held a 2010 campaign event alongside Dog the Bounty Hunter at the Grizzly Rose, a well-known country music venue and bar.
Tancredo held a 2010 campaign event alongside Dog the Bounty Hunter at the Grizzly Rose, a well-known country music venue and bar.

Initially, Tancredo, who's never used marijuana, told us he was going to pay off the wager, albeit with conditions -- he'd take a single puff , but also argue that people should steer clear of weed, which he considers risky even if it's as safe or safer than alcohol. But as publicity accrued and pressure mounted, particularly from members of his own family, Tancredo went back on his pledge.

Hartle reacted with a long essay on view below that expressed displeasure that he had to learn about this reversal through the media rather than via Tancredo himself and questioned the onetime gubernatorial candidate's rationale for reneging. Afterward, however, he realized he had another problem: The video sampler he'd created for an IndieGoGo page to raise funds for his movie ended with the Tancredo bet and a graphic that reads, "Please help us get Congressman Tancredo Rocky Mountain high."

That wouldn't do, as Hartle makes clear in a new post on his website. He writes:

I've been upset about this whole thing because it cost me three days of post-production. I can't in good conscience put a clip in a trailer for a scene that won't take place in a movie, no matter how much attention this story gets, so it had to be re-done. Lucky for me there's a harmless plant on Earth that's a natural mood enhancer and the new trailer is even better. I have no ill will towards Tom, and perhaps one day we'll be able to hang out again together like the last interview, where I was the only one high. In the meantime, the search for Tom's replacement for that scene continues for me. Politicians do so many illegal things, surely I can find one to do something legal.

Unfortunately, the new trailer isn't embeddable -- but you can see it when you visit the IndieGoGo address , where donations have been picking up. Late last week, only a little over $600 had been pledged toward Hartle's $40,000 goal. At this writing, the total is at $5,782 with 52 days to go.

Continue to read our original post about Tom Tancredo welching on his bet with comedian-filmmaker Adam Hartle, including the original trailer.

Original post, 4:20 p.m. January 29: Last week, news broke that Tom Tancredo had promised to smoke pot with Adam Hartle, a comedian-filmmaker assembling a documentary about Amendment 64; the two had bet on A64's passage, and Tancredo lost.

Although the ex-Congressman put some conditions on firing up, he stressed that he didn't want to welch. But now he's done so anyhow -- and Hartle isn't happy.

As we've noted, Tancredo was virtually the only high-profile Republican politician to speak out in favor of Amendment 64, not due to his fondness for marijuana (he's never tried it), but because he sees the government telling people what they should and shouldn't ingest as antithetical to his conservative values.

Adam Hartle.
Adam Hartle.

During the course of the campaign, Tancredo granted an interview to Hartle, and at the end of their chat, he told us last week, "We made a bet -- and even though I was supporting 64, I bet that it was going to go down. He said, 'I don't think it is.' And then he said, 'If it passes, will you smoke a joint with me?' And I said, 'Sure,' not thinking it was going to pass. But it did."

As such, Tancredo said he would pay off the bet" next time Florida-based Hartle is in Colorado -- but only under specific circumstances. In his words, "I will not promote it, because I don't think people should smoke. So I'll only take one puff, and I'm going to say, 'I don't think this is something you should do.' If you want to do it and you're an adult, you should have every right to do it. But it's not a benign substance; it's not something you can say, 'There's no possible harmful effect.' So I'm not going to be pushing it."

Despite these caveats, Tancredo's toking pledge continued to make news and provoke laughs. In the opening monologue to his most recent episode of HBO's Real Time, for example, Bill Maher joked that Tancredo -- whose name he mispronounced as "Tan-creed-oh" -- had better not make any bets about gay marriage. Meanwhile, Tancredo was pressured to retract the pledge by his wife, who was "pissed" about the promise, he told ABC News.

When Mrs. Tancredo talks, Tom listens. And because he said he was also concerned about the message he would send to his grandchildren by smoking, he reneged on the wager.

How is Hartle reacting? With great displeasure.

Continue for more about Adam Hartle's reaction to Tom Tancredo withdrawing his promise to smoke, including a video.

Tancredo stumping for Amendment 64 on KBDI.
Tancredo stumping for Amendment 64 on KBDI.

Last week, Hartle praised Tancredo as a stand-up guy in a message shared on his website, even as he downplayed the controversy over the bet. He wrote:

Everyone is making a big deal about Congressman Tancredo and I legally smoking marijuana together soon. This is no different than if in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt sat down and had a drink with an advocate of ending prohibition the first time. As an independent, I have a lot of friends that are Democrats and Republicans, and personally I wish all politicians would sit down with the peace pipe together, in their free time, learn how to get along and do what's best for the American people -- not what's best for re-election or special interests groups. 15,000 people die each year in cartel violence, and over 800,000 non-violent Americans get a criminal record for simply recreating with a natural plant that's never killed anyone and is healthier than alcohol. I encourage everyone to learn more about the failure of marijuana prohibition and look forward to sitting down with my friend Tom and burnin' one down for peace :)

Now, Hartle is disappointed, due in part to the way he learned about the development.

"Since filming our scene together three months ago, Congressman Tancredo and I have been in touch at least fifty times via phone calls, texts, e-mails, etc.," Hartle writes. "He was the first person in the cast that I showed the trailer to, and he loved it. He even had director Anthony Hashem and I over to his lovely home prior to the shoot, so for me to find out about this through the media and not receive a phone call first shows a lack of respect for the film, this movement, and our friendship especially after releasing a statement recently publicly supporting him on this issue. I thought Tom was different from the dishonest stereotype associated with Congressmen, but silly me for trusting a politician when he looks you in the eye and shakes your hand."

He also brands Tancredo's concern about his grandchildren as "absolutely ridiculous." To find out why, read Hartle's entire essay below. That's followed by teaser footage for his proposed Amendment 64 film. His bet with Tancredo concludes the clip.

Adam's statement on Tom Tancredo backing out of deal to smoke legal marijuana together.

I'm disappointed that Congressman Tancredo is going against his word, but I'm even more saddened by the way he did it. Since filming our scene together 3 months ago Congressman Tancredo and I have been in touch at least 50 times via phone calls, texts, emails, etc. He was the first person in the cast that I showed the trailer to, and he loved it. He even had director Anthony Hashem and I over to his lovely home prior to the shoot, so for me to find out about this through the media and not receive a phone call first shows a lack of respect for the film, this movement, and our friendship especially after releasing a statement recently publicly supporting him on this issue. I thought Tom was different from the dishonest stereotype associated with Congressmen, but silly me for trusting a politician when he looks you in the eye and shakes your hand. After all, politicians have been lying to the American people for over 75 years about marijuana so I'm not surprised. Congressman Tancredo's statement about concern over what his grandkids would say to peers that brought it up is absolutely ridiculous. They could say, "My grandfather isn't breaking the law, and is helping to save the life of someone hooked on pain pills" or "how many years in Congress did your grandfather serve?" or "You've been taught 20th century rhetoric in a 21st century world" or even the timeless classic "Nanny, nanny boo boo stick your head in doo doo." We shouldn't base our actions on what some bully might say, and I wonder why Congressman Tancredo isn't concerned about his grandkids having to explain his alcohol use? After all, many people die each year from alcohol poisoning, yet no one in the history of mankind has ever died from marijuana overdose. The irony is that Congressman Tancredo, a conservative, was fooled by a member of his family who used the classic conservative tactic of hiding behind children. Besides the flag, it's hiding spot numero uno. Here's how it works- take the wrong position on an issue and spin it to tap into everyone's innate instinct to protect kids. It's been used many times throughout history like "Free the slaves? What about the children?" or "Desegregate the schools? Think of the children" and even today like "Same sex marriage? I don't want my kids taught that in schools." I have two beautiful children of my own and I'm proud to be documenting the story of heroes like the activists and forward thinkers in Colorado who are making the world a safer, more just place for them to live, and would be ashamed of myself if they ever saw me shake another man's hand and lie to his face. Perhaps if I make my next film on rounding up Mexican-Americans in the middle of the night and forcefully removing parents and kids alike, he'd consider that to be a 'feel good' piece worthy of bringing the whole brood. As a first time filmmaker, I've spent all of my time, money, and efforts into producing, performing, writing, and editing this film because I believe so passionately in this peace movement taking place. While filming out in Colorado, director Anthony Hashem and I found that the issue of ending marijuana prohibition is supported by many Democrats and Republicans, so we feel this is a great starting point to help with the major problem of partisanship in America. Gathering around the peace pipe worked for Native American leaders so I'd like to see it tried with modern American leaders, and would like to send out an open invitation to other past or present Congressman, Senators, or governors to meet in Colorado and legally hit the vaporizer with me as we have a positive, enlightened conversation on ways to encourage politicians to do what's best for the American people, not what's best for re-election or special interest groups.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Tom Tancredo will puff a joint to settle a bet, but says people shouldn't smoke pot."


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