Tom Tancredo's vow to get Rocky Mountain High was sure short-lived -- the former congressman says he will not be getting high with "Grassroots" filmmaker Adam Hartle, after all.
On Saturday, Tancredo said this to 9News via email:
I am especially concerned that the publicity may cause my grandkids to have to justify my actions to their peers and afraid that no matter how many times I say I am NOT condoning the use of marijuana, that that message will not get through. My grandchildren are extremely precious to me and I would never want to do anything that puts them in difficult situation.
The controversy began for Tancredo when Hartle released the promotional trailer via Indiegogo for his Amendment 64 documentary "Grassroots," in which Tancredo agreed to smoke marijuana with the filmmaker near the end of the 10-minute trailer for the documentary (at 9:21). Hartle asks Tancredo, "True or false, when Amendment 64 passes and marijuana is legal, the next time I'm out in Colorado, we're going to smoke a joint together."
To which a wide-eyed Tancredo responds simply: "Deal."
The interview is followed by a text card reading:
Please help us get Congressman Tancredo rocky mountain high!
Now that he's "welched" on the bet with Hartle, Tancredo admitted to ABC News that it wasn't just his grandchildren he was concerned about. "My wife is absolutely -- she's pissed," Tancredo said. The former congressman also said his conservative backers were not happy about his agreement to smoke pot either. However, Tancredo stood by his support for the legalization -- echoing sentiments he shared before the November vote when he endorsed A64 in Colorado -- and regulation of marijuana for adults saying, "I don’t think people should [smoke pot]. That decision is up to an individual. An adult, in this society, is not something the government should have any control over.”
Hartle, for one, is disappointed in Tancredo's decision and told The Huffington Post via email that he tried to talk Tancredo back into the agreement after Tancredo went to the media saying he was not going to smoke pot, but that the former congressman had already made up his mind. Hartle also wrote this statement on his website in response to the Tancredo's bet-welching:
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.
View the new trailer without Tancredo above, and a clip from the original trailer where Tancredo agrees to smoke pot below -- view the Grassroots Indiegogo fundraiser page here: