Tommy Chong Don't treat cannabis like alcohol

Tommy Chong: Don’t treat cannabis like alcohol

Groups like the Marijuana Policy Project often gain support for cannabis by comparing it to alcohol. As the march toward full legalization continues, though, some medical cannabis patients think that comparison is harming consumers.

Among those patients is cannabis comedy legend and entrepreneur, Tommy Chong. During a September phone interview, Profiles in Legalization asked about Chong’s experience as the face of an ever-expanding cannabis brand. 

A question about downsides to cannabis legalization drew a quick response, though it was delivered in Chong’s slow drawl.

“Well, the only downside is the way they’re trying to treat marijuana like alcohol.” Chong said. “You know, like they consider it a sin.”

Chong told us that he doesn’t like the way cannabis is being commercialized for adult-use. He especially dislikes the high taxes included to win over skeptical lawmakers and voters to reform. He sees the comparison as harmful to consumers.

“The reason they treat alcohol the way they do is because it has a detrimental effect on society.” said Chong. “Cannabis should be treated as a medical substance and should be treated like any other medicine that gets a tax break because of its positive use for society.”

Both Canada, where Chong was born, and California, where he lives now, legalized cannabis for medical use first. According to Chong, “the market is the market,” but all use should be considered medical.

”Cannabis is medicine and it should be treated as medicine, you see?”

Tommy Chong

Storming the Cannabis Industry

Tommy Chong is best known as one half of the stoner comedy duo, Cheech & Chong, with Richard “Cheech” Marin. Now 83, he’s the face of Tommy Chong’s Cannabis products, including full-spectrum CBD, dry leaf and cannabis pre-rolls sold across the United States.

Fans of Cheech & Chong will be happy to learn that the pair are teaming up again. While there’s been talk of a Cheech & Chong Dispenseria for years, plans were delayed by the pandemic. Chong assured us that they are back on track.

“We’re so close.” said Chong. “We’re just waiting for the proper licensing.”

Cheech & Chong’s Cannabis Company was officially created when Eighth Icon Holdings changed their name last month.

“As we move towards federal legalization, the new name reflects our mission and progress made.” said Cheech Marin in a September 13 press release announcing the change.

  • Is CBD Right for Your Dog?
    “I am an advocate for CBD, but we succeed because our goal is to educate owners. We try to come from a place of science and personal experience. We do not believe in pressure selling CBD to anyone.”
  • Opinion: It’s time for action on adult-use cannabis in Pennsylvania
    National and local surveys of voters continue to reflect overwhelming support for legalization. Cannabis consumers are no longer asking for permission, instead we are demanding REAL reform at the ballot box. Politicians who make grand promises of cannabis reform should be on notice to start making good, or start looking for jobs in the private sector.
  • Virginia seals 64,000 marijuana distribution charges
    Officials said the records were scrubbed from the state’s criminal record database, which is used by employers like school boards, state agencies and local governments to screen employees.
  • Charlie Crist vows to push for legalizing cannabis as governor
    At a press conference in the state capital, Crist argued that the criminalization of marijuana has negatively impacted Floridians, therefore, he will push for “expungement of all existing charges and sentences for misdemeanors and third-degree felonies for marijuana possession.”
  • Nevada program to help BIPOC cannabis industry applicants
    Nevada’s cannabis rush following the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana saw the rise of another multibillion dollar industry that is predominantly owned and managed by white men. 
  • Judge blocks residency rule for Missouri medical cannabis licenses
    A federal judge last week permanently blocked Missouri from enforcing a requirement that medical marijuana licenses go to businesses owned by residents of the state.
  • SD adult-use cannabis initiative approved to gather signatures
    South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the group behind last year’s cannabis legalization push, announced yesterday that a new initiative has been approved for signature gathering.
  • Cannabis “tipping point” close, says Marijuana Policy Project head
    During a recent phone interview, Hawkins told Profiles in Legalization that he thinks half of U.S. states fully legalizing cannabis might be the “tipping point” into an end to federal cannabis prohibition.
  • Virginia medical cannabis patients see high prices and long waits
    Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform Marijuana Laws, noted the state’s decision to limit the program to five producers, who are only allowed to operate in the specific region of the state in which they are licensed.
  • MS activists rally around the state for medical cannabis laws
    House and Senate negotiators dickered most of the summer on a plan to replace the medical marijuana program the high court shot down. Reeves had said that if lawmakers could reach an agreement, he would call them into special session to pass it.