Still smoking and still joking, Tommy Chong views life at 80
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he’d live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping the country.
He had no doubt when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they didn’t just play hippie potheads in the movies — they really were those guys — could have landed them in prison. Not even in 2003 when Chong was imprisoned for nine months for conspiring to distribute handcrafted artisanal bongs the government declared drug paraphernalia.
“Oh yeah, I saw it coming,” he says of cannabis being legal in some form in about two-thirds of his adopted country’s 50 states.
“In fact, I kind of planned the whole thing out,” he jokes. “Well, maybe I was a little premature with that bong thing. But other than that, I was pretty much right on point.”
So much so that when the High Priest of Stoner Comedy turns 80 on Thursday — that’s right, 80 — he expects his Chong’s Choice brand of marijuana, available in legal dispensaries in several states, will be consumed in abundance at the parties his family is planning.
Photo: Chris Carlson, AP
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Tommy Chong pose for a picture at his home Tuesday, May 15, 2018 in Los Angeles. About to turn 80, Chong says he never doubted he’d live to see the day when marijuana would be legal in one form or another in 30 states across the country. Now, with his own Chong’s Choice line of artisanal pot, Chong prepares to celebrate his 80th birthday this week with a