Words by: Richard Coyle
Snaps by: Leah Moriyama
Everyone’s familiar with Tommy Chong and make no mistake, so are your parents. If they tell you they aren’t, they’re lying to you. Activist, actor, comedian, and writer, Mr. Chong is famously known for his dank brand of comedy and co-starring roles from the Cheech & Chong series and Leo from That 70’s Show. We sit with this legend and talk about positivity and leading by example. We all know Tommy smokes. We also know that he’s extremely passionate about the cannabis cause. What he’s not, is your stereotypical “stoner”, and an exploiter of the very culture he’s trying to elevate. He’s an extremely intelligent and spiritual soul. People need to be able to differentiate what their optics are on him as a perpetrator of a decades-old negative stigma, to one of the most honest and intelligent ambassadors of the cannabis movement. That said, the guy has a perfectly crafted reputation by design and Chong’s Choice is a testament to a brand that he markets brilliantly. In addition, Tommy is headlining one of the cannabis industry’s most attended festivals – Blazers Cup. He’s honestly more of entrepreneur of greener pastures than people give him credit for, but perhaps that was premeditated on purpose. Mr. Chong has devoted a great deal of his life to cannabis advocacy for personal and political reasons. “I’ve dedicated my life to the promotion of this wonderful gift from God and I’ve been on the road educating people about this gift.”, says Chong. He currently sits on the board for NORML and contributes articles to various media outlets with an emphasis on cannabis activism. “The only thing anybody can do to improve the cannabis industry is to improve themselves. You can only lead by example, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”, says Tommy.
We had the chance to session with this living legend and really got to know Tommy Chong the celebrity and Tommy Chong the free spirit, activist, and entrepreneur.
What have you been up to the past few years?
I’ve dedicated my life to the promotion of this wonderful gift from God. I’ve been on the road educating people about this gift.
What does the cannabis industry need to do to thrive?
The cannabis industry has done everything it’s doing. There is nothing else we could do, really. The answer is in the smoke. You gotta educate everybody. Then you gotta vote out the Jeff Sessions and the Trumps. You know, we gotta nail them at the ballot box. God in his infinite wisdom, gave us Donald Trump and weed at the same time [laughs] We’re going to give you this idiot, but enjoy this [laughs]
What do you say to all the cannabis naysayers?
The cannabis industry really just has to relax. They say in the bible, “Agree quickly with your adversary.” and if you do that, there’s no argument. So, when somebody says to me, “cannabis is bad for you”, I agree with them. I say, “you’re absolutely right. and if you don’t want to do it, don’t you do it, and if I see you
doing it, I’ll slap that joint right out your mouth [laughs]” On a serious note, there’s nothing we can do. That’s like asking how can we make summer better [laughs] It’s out of our control.
How can we improve the cannabis industry?
The only thing anybody can do to improve the cannabis industry is to improve themselves. You can only lead by example, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.
Talk to us about Chongs Choice.
Chongs Choice is beyond Badass Weed (my previous venture) because rather than have my own grow (which I did), I brought the best growers onboard. I’ve been growing plants all my life but, I never really had the patience to grow the weed how it should be. What we’ve done is hooked up with the best and healthiest growers. Because that’s the other thing with commercial weed now, you have to worry about what’s in them now like pesticides and other harmful chemicals. They’re just in it for the money. You gotta work with nature. At Chong’s Choice, we don’t want the biggest crop, we want the healthiest crop.
What’s the misconception of cannabis contribution?
Not only are we providing jobs and taxes for the government. Were providing a positive lifestyle.
For people who have never experimented with weed, what can they expect from the legend?
Marijuana enhances what you already are. If you’re lovely and soulful, it will enhance that, and if you’re mean and crazy it will enhance that [laughs] That’s what marijuana does.
Are you a Sativa or Indica guy?
I like Sativas man.
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