United States

Oct 23, 2012

Rundle: direct democracy, through a laid-back dope haze

This was not what the founding fathers had in mind on direct democracy; our correspondent ventures inside a laid-back rally aimed at softening cannabis laws.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


In the bowels of the Fox theatre, Boulder Colorado, a band of half-a-dozen white kids is cranking out Pick Up the Pieces, the Average White Band’s classic white soul anthem. “Yadadidadada dah da da dah de du dut da de duh dut. Yah da di duh …” Play and repeat, play and repeat. It’s a cavernous old picture house, the Fox, long since converted to a venue, the same sort of place you find all across the world, where I, and you have passed many of the best years of our lives, and some of the worst evenings, the old stage, the old screen, the barrel ceiling, the remaining ornate filigree work painted to black.

There’s only half-a-dozen people out on the floor proper, too; everyone’s milling in the foyer, which has its own bar. Bar-in-Star-Wars effect — dreads and army camo jackets, goth grrrls in black and black lipstick against white skin, close to monochrome, all Aubrey Beardsley, rockers in denim, big bearish guys in beards, and retro girls with henna bangs and polka-dot dresses. The brass section’s thin out here, but the bass bangs out of the walls, the aged plaster vibrating.

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4 thoughts on “Rundle: direct democracy, through a laid-back dope haze

  1. paddy

    They’re pretty stunning figures on male incarceration.
    10% of the male pop have been in prison!!!
    The ‘private’ prison industry is obviously alive and kicking.

  2. JonahBologna

    I lived in Denver in 2005 when the city ‘decriminalised’ marijuana. It passed with 54% of the vote. There wasn’t much put forward at the election (tax increase, spending cap, school board election) so turnout was expected to be very small.

    Question 100 made personal posession of less than 1oz legal in the city, but it remained illegal in the state and country. Mason Tyvert did an excellent job rallying young (high) people to vote in an off-year when it would normally only blue-hairs and soccer-moms at the polls.

    I’m surprised that the movement has gained enough momentum to be able to pass during an election that will be well-attended.

  3. botanista

    Philip Larkin?

    “Life is an immobile, locked,
    Three-handed struggle between
    Your wants, the world’s for you, and (worse)
    The unbeatable slow machine
    That brings what you’ll get.”

    Well if that slow machine brings me 6 plants growing happily in my backyard, my outlook will be much more optimistic than Larkin’s …. and perhaps a little more akin to Rundle’s, who obviously inhaled on this one.

  4. DF

    It has become increasingly obvious that the US is currently engaged in its Second Civil War, and has been for some time. I just don’t get the feeling there is anyone capable of delivering a second Gettysburg Address.

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