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Lighting Up With Comedian, Activist, and Pothead Tommy Chong

Lighting Up With Comedian, Activist, and Pothead Tommy Chong

Entertainment

Lighting Up With Comedian, Activist, and Pothead Tommy Chong

If they ever build a Mount Rushmore of Great American Potheads, Bob Marley, Snoop Dog, Willie Nelson, and Tommy Chong would have to be there.

Even if you’ve never seen an episode, everyone knows about the zany marijuana antics of The Cheech & Chong Show. In fact, that show probably had a lot to do with creating the stigma around marijuana that the legal cannabis industry are still battling against.

But Tommy Chong is more than his television persona. He’s a Grammy Award-winning comedian and a political activist. Yesterday, Eugene Weekly sat down for an interview and lit up with Tommy Chong.

The session touches on everything from partying on tour and taking 6 foot bong rips with Snoop to Chong’s “cannabis sabbaticals” and his fight against cancer. Did you know Chong developed his own strain as an offshoot of OG Kush? Or that he thinks driving while stoned is no big deal?

Here’s some highlights from the interview with Tommy Chong:

I’ve heard stories from friends who say their weed was so strong it made Snoop Dogg take a knee or George Carlin invite them on tour. What’s the most ridiculous story you’ve heard about yourself?

Well, it’s not really me — it’s Cheech . Cheech always has a habit of doing too much at the wrong time. And he’s been doing it just lately, too.

We get a lot of free weed, you know, and I shared a lot with Cheech. One guy gave us a syringe full of Rick Simpson oil and Cheech thought it would be a good idea to do the whole syringe. He was cooking a meal at the time and he went up to his office and he saw the syringe there and … he put the whole syringe in his mouth. I’ve never heard a story where projectile vomiting was so funny.

And one time while we were on the road, I walked in to his room and he was in bed! We were having a party. We had a party room; we always had a party room. And I couldn’t find Cheech. I walked in to his room and he’s in bed with the covers up to his neck and he’s shaking like he’s gonna die or something. And there’s this weird looking hippie at the end of the bed. It was just weird. And I said, “What happened?” He said, “I don’t know, man. I gave him some of this. You want some?” I said, “Ah, no. No thank you.”

Was it like the time you took a 6-foot bong rip?

Oh, oh, oh, that was killer. That was at Snoop Dogg’s show. Yeah, it was a 6-foot bong. Oh my God. I had to be carried home that night. That was crazy, yeah. That brought tears to my eyes.

Tell me something that people might not know about you?

I’m, um … let’s see. Oh, I’m really a lightweight when it comes to weed. You know? Yeah, I’m very lightweight. Weed will last me forever, for years. I give so much away because I take just a little crumb and I put it in.

I make bongs, you know; that’s my hobby. I make ‘em out of antique kombucha bottles. And uh, and they’re the perfect bong because you can clean ‘em, sparkling in seconds, you know. And I like a clean bong.

And so I’ll do a little hit. I’ll do a tiny, little nugget. Just about an eighth of a nugget. Just enough for about four or five tokes. And then I’m good. And if I need more, then I’ll go down in the basement or — I got a bong in every room of my house so I’ll stop and do another hit. And that’ll be it. That’s all I need.

You have said you take a lot of sabbaticals from weed. Do you just take a few days, a couple weeks?

It depends. You know, if I’m going to jail or if I’m on probation and they’re drug testing me, then I’ll take the time to quit.

Well, you’ve only been to jail once, right?

Yeah, well, uh, one time. But that was like a sabbatical for 3 years. You know, and uh, I stopped. Since I had my cancer operation, though, I’ve been, thank God, smoking every day. You know, I’m back to every day now. But, yeah, yeah, I’m pretty, uh — I’m medicated. That’s for sure.

What do you think about driving under the influence of cannabis?

Well, the way you test it is, “Well, what’s he doing?” If he’s breaking the law, then give him a ticket. And if there’s no crime, then don’t fuck with him.

(Photo Credit: HighTimes)

Adam Drury

Adam is a staff writer for Green Rush Daily who hails from Corvallis, Oregon. He’s an artist, musician, and higher educator with deep roots in the cannabis community. His degrees in literature and psychology drive his interest in the therapeutic use of cannabis for mind and body wellness.

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