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.
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.
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