Monday 31 October 2011

17 "marihuanaland" Preview Party

We invited 12 guests for 6:30 and had prepared a lot of food and wine,with brownies for dessert. My sister and brother-in-law´s studio/barn was perfect: big with a big screen TV. Around 7:00 we showed “marihuanaland.” There were whoops and hollers and laughs in all the right places.  The problem was, we all agreed that cannabis should be legal, so there was no one to give us the other side. But everyone wanted to know why we spelled marihuana with an “H”*.

image by sphaera /
Hard to believe that a year ago we (the film team) were in Oakland, California to shoot “marihuanaland”.  The night we showed it there was an “Occupy Wall Street” riot in the city. Very strange to see streets on which we shot with protesters and police obscured by tear gas. But then I remembered that they expected the same thing when I was there doing leg-work. The stores were ready. They boarded up the windows and the center almost looked abandoned. Oakland is used to riots and the police are prepared. Still there were a couple of serious injuries.
Like last year a vote is coming up. Only this time it´s in Palisade, Colorado. There´s a proposition on the ballot to close the only medical marijuana dispensary in the region. Grand Junction (40,000). the biggish city nearby has closed all of their´s, although medical marihuana is legal in the state of Colorado. One of the guests was the owner of the Palisade dispensary – she was quiet and thoughtful about the future. She and her husband have worked hard to build their business, comply with all the laws, pay their taxes and serve the area. But it might all go down the tubes. The vote is tomorrow. No one is taking any bets. I remember last year in California.  Everyone we talked to thought it was a sure thing. But Proposition 19, the initiative to make small amounts of pot legal lost by 7%. 
*As far as we can tell, the original spelling.
Lesson 22: When you show your doc live be prepared for questions.
  Next week: 18 What´s It Called?

Monday 24 October 2011

16 Back in the USA

Back In The USA (2010)
It took one train ride and four flights to get here, but it was worth it.  My sister Elizabeth and her husband Bob Nelson have a small (paradise) vineyard in Colorado´s wine country on the Western slope of the Rockie montains. Palisade, Colorado, the town nearby, has 2,300 inhabitants, 12 churches, a local newspaper, a couple of restaurants, several bars and the only alternative medical marijuana dispensary in the region (other towns in the area have voted to close them, although they´re legal in Colorado).
November 1st the locals will go to the polls and vote on whether to keep the marijuana dispensary or close it. Before that, on October 27,  we´re going to show “marihuanaland” for the first time in the Nelson´s studio/barn. We don´t have any pot, but we´ll serve wine and food to go with the doc. There will be brownies for dessert.
The town is also the Peach capital of the state, if not the country and a great place for biking. Mostly sunny all the time, the scenery is gorgeous – a lush valley surrounded by mesas. The New York Times reporter had such a good time he wrote three full pages about it, its vineyards and the biking. And that´s what I´ve been doing. When I saw the open flat roads and beautiful views I bought a bright red, sassy bike with a comfortable seat.
I think Eki must be happy:  “marihuanaland” is in the can and I´m approximately 7,000 miles away. I might not be able to call as often, but thank god for the internet so I can badger him with “if it´s Monday it must be Maggy” emails.
Lesson 21:  Before you go hit the road check your gear for all the bits and pieces.

Next week: 17 "marihuanaland" Preview Party