DON’T SMOKE THE MESSENGER: The Naked Truth -An Interview with the 1970s film star of Cheech and Chong
Tommy Chong is currently under house arrest. Don’t panic; it’s a self-imposed house arrest. Back in 2003, when he ended up going to jail for selling pipes intended for smoking pot, there was a moment when he thought house arrest was going to be an option, and he was so excited.
“The thing is, I’ve got a great house, and when you are a successful stoner, you never get to be there because you are always on the road talking about pot and making money.”
From his hide-away sauna, nestled in the trees of his back yard overlooking the Palisades in Los Angeles, his son’s maltipoo puppy keeping him company, Tommy Chong told the Messenger all about his marijuana brand: Chong’s Choice, he new art venture, and his upcoming trip to Southern Oregon for the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference.
Usually when he visits Southern Oregon, he is such a state of marijuana bliss that the only other thing he even notices is how clean the air is. This year he is excited to stay in Ashland for the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference on November 19 at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites, where he will meet conference attendees and answer questions from the audience. When asked what his favorite part of participating at the OMBC/IMBC conferences: “Probably getting all the free weed! I grew up in the Calgary part of Canada, and not only was weed illegal, but it was also scarce. So anytime I get free weed, I feel like I’ve scored.”
Tommy Chong loves weed so much he has started visiting farms, and finding the best growers in each of the states his company can operate (Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Montana and Arizona, currently). Using the power of his celebrity, he is giving the chosen farms a leg up by taking their product to market under his brand, Chong’s Choice. By picking only the best growers to work with, they are ensuring that Chong’s Choice is always “the best available weed in the world.”
“Our standards are so “high”, that not only are we going to assure the best product, but also the farms we work with have the best growing practices and work environments for their employees.”
The actor must have a passion for entrepreneurism, as he is also preparing to launch a new company- or as he puts it- an art show. He is taking old kombucha bottles and refashioning them into medical approved water pipes for enjoying cannabis, or in other words, Chong’s Bongs. He will be putting the show together and going on the road with it right after the election. Not only will it be an art show, but also an educational experience, featuring other experts in the field to offer advice on the best kinds of marijuana as well as the best ways to consume it.
“I feel so proud and so happy. You know, marijuana is just a plant. And as we can begin to understand more of what this plant can do for us, we can also, hopefully start to understand what other powerful plants are out there that can do so much for us.”
It turns out he is quite the diplomat, too, “If all you have is indoor, then that is the best, if all you have is outdoor, then that is the best, and if you don’t have anything, than anything is the best. As long as it gets you high, than that’s the best bud.”
Meet Tommy Chong at the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference. Tickets are available at OregonMBC.com or at a few selects dispensaries and clinics in the Rogue Valley.
Oregon Marijuana Business Conference
All day, Saturday, November 19
Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites, 2525 Ashland St, Ashland