Interviews

Published on August 24th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Tommy Chong is Taking Full Advantage of Marijuana Being Legal and Explains Why You Should Be Too!

Tommy Chong’s passion for marijuana is now his business venture with, “Chong’s Choice!”

Tommy Chong’s role on the popular movie series, “Cheech & Chong,” was not all an act. Chong is a proud stoner and has been for years. Alongside, Cheech Marin the duo literally made a living doing the marijuana-themed comedy records and movies throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 2000’s. Chong has been a cannabis user and activist for most of his life and finally seems to be finding his footing with the widespread legalization of the plant. Not sure I can think of anyone else who has benefitted from the plant more than, Mr. Chong who released, “Up in Smoke,” back in 1978 and currently owns, “Chong’s Choice,” which is a is his personal brand. Chong’s Choice” motto is, “The Choice of Legends.” He’s made weed popular for over 30-years. At 81-years young, Chong is still pounding the concrete and keeping his nose to the ground in educated the masses on the health benefits of marijuana and is now dabbling into the CBD oil and hemp oil aspect of healing as well.

In my recent conversation with the legend, we discuss his brand, “Chong’s Choice,” his band that he’s putting back together, “Chong And The Family Stones,” as well as a potential visit to the, Tyson Ranch [Mike Tyson’s dispensary].

Either life or the weed has been really good to you. There is no way you’re 81-years old.

Tommy Chong: (Laughing), yes, I’m 81. I got a beautiful wife, so I’m taking it a lot.

You are involved with, CBD oil, hemp oil, obviously marijuana… pretty much everything big pharma doesn’t want us to know about in terms of its benefits. What’s that process been like?

Tommy Chong: It’s been fun. It’s been responsible for making me a famous guy if not wealthy and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I got turned on to it early by some very hip people. I got turned on to jazz. That was the first positive thing that really happened in my life and then that led to everything else; including the marijuana.

Do you still find time to play the guitar or have you put it down?

Tommy Chong: I’m putting my band back together again, “Chong And The Family Stones.” I’m putting them back together. I’m creating a super group. We’re going to do music to unite the world. Because music is a unifier that everybody appreciates. No matter who you are or where you are. Music is the best communicator.

What better time than now to provide us with some form of unity.

Tommy Chong: That’s my aim. I want to use my God given talent to do something positive. I don’t need to make much more money, although I will. I don’t need to. But we do need peace in the world. I think we all need to do what we can to get peace in the world and that’s what I want to do.

You have your brand, “Chong’s Choice,” and the thing I love about it, they aren’t just using your name, you are very hands on with the product and very involved.

Tommy Chong: Yeah! we fought so long to get it legally and now that it’s legal, you better capitalize on it (laughing). You spend all of that time touting it, you might as well get a piece of it. What we’ve done is, we hooked up with some really good people. People that care. And people that are talented and can-do things with the industry. It’s working out really well. It’s a nice business to be in. The marijuana industry is the only factory or warehouse I’ve seen where everybody is so happy.

That’s not a coincidence.

Tommy Chong: I bet it isn’t. Isn’t that nice? When I was working, I would have loved to work in a marijuana factory. I like being happy.

You posted a post on Instagram and it was a meme that said, “Can I buy some marijuana?” “Sorry, that’s illegal.” “Okay, let me get 7 assault rifles and 4 bazookas.” How ridiculous is that?

Tommy Chong: (Laughing)! It shows you where we’re at with the government that we have in there now. That’s pretty funny and it’s right.

You promote more than just the stoned aspect of marijuana. I can tell you are really doing the research and learning of the health benefits of marijuana, CBD and hemp oil. How important is that for you to promote to other side of it and not just the part about it gets you high?

Tommy Chong: Well it’s very important because there is no other side. When they say that they want to separate recreational pot from medical pot, it’s my observation that all pot use is medical. Recreation is considered a medical term in the army. Where you have to have your R&R; Rest and Recreation. So, all pot use is medical, and it should be treated as such. I guess they will all eventually figure that out. Right now, they just all trying to get a handle on all the money that’s generated by it. See before they did it by making it illegal. You could fine people for doing it and you could sell it to the people that needed it and didn’t care if it was illegal or not. What’s happening now is, they are learning how to deal with an herb that is available, grows anywhere for anybody and you don’t have to do anything with it other than let it be. And it’s healthy, so what’s the deal (laughing)?

That’s right. And also, they would have to figure out a system to release the people doing double-digit years for selling this plant.

Tommy Chong: Well you gotta remember, America is really a slave country and it still is whether you get paid or not. You can still do brutal work for almost unsustainable money. So, there are people on this planet who are still in slavery mode. Pointing that out to people, you’re not always successful because people don’t know how messed up, they are. You just have to accept what is handed to us in this physical world and do the best you can to make your part of it nice. And by doing that other people will take your lead and next thing you know; you got a nice neighborhood for instance. We’ll solve these problems. The great thing is, we have the tools to do it with now. We have the computer; we have the cell phone and music and information at our fingertips. So, within a few years, this new generation will have it under control to the point where they will have other problems (laughing).

You are 81-years old, so marijuana has somewhat come full circle for you. It was once legal, then there was a long period where it was illegal and now it’s coming back around to being legalized everywhere. Did you ever think there would be a day where you would see it in legislation to become legal again?

Tommy Chong: No, I never had that dream. I never had that epiphany. You know, they could have kept it illegal for the rest of my life and it wouldn’t have made a difference to me. Because pot, right now is probably easier to get… in New York for instance, you can get pot faster than you can get a pizza. Because I’ve ordered both and the pot always arrived first.

(Laughing)!

Tommy Chong: So, in America, even when it was illegal and we were doing movies and things, it was still the most widely used substance in the world. And it was the most lucrative underground market in the world; selling illegal pot. Even with legalization, there is still a big black market going on. And it will go on forever. It won’t change. That’s the way it is. You take people from the ghetto. You think they are going to be able to go to the cross-town dispensary? No! But you think they are going to be able to buy it on the corner? Yeah! That’s the way it is, man.

I saw you using the hemp pen. Have you found a favorite method or are you, old school joint smoker still?

Tommy Chong: Nah, no favorite. Just whatever anybody’s got. My favorite used to be, anything given to me by a naked lady (laughing).

(Laughing). You’re locked down now.

Tommy Chong: That was always my favorite and it still is, but it hasn’t happened for a long time (laughing).

When you are sampling different types of marijuana for your product, what do you look for in terms of quality? 

Tommy Chong: Well it’s reputation. You hear people can grow the best. And they will tell you. They won’t be shy about it. They will tell you how they did it, where they did it and why they did it. And the testing is… we try to deal with people who love their job and love their product. There is something really uplifting in it and it translates in the weed; any work of labor. Labor of love like a lot of these plants are, it shows in the quality and the size and the quantity of the weed. That’s what we look for, we look for nice people. That just want to sell nice product. And that’s what we do, we hook up with them and the rest is easy. Once you get a reputation like we’re getting, you don’t have to advertise. All you have to do is supply. That’s good.

Have you made it out to, Mike Tyson’s Ranch? I think that would be an awesome podcast.

Tommy Chong: I’m due to be out there. I don’t know exactly when, but we’re due to do a podcast. I want to see, Brother Mike (laughing). I got some questions I want to ask him. I don’t know if we could do it on camera. I’m going to pick his brain. I was on, Joe Rogan’s podcast for 2 ½ hours.

You like, Joe Rogan? He’s a good guy?

Tommy Chong: Joe? Oh yeah, he’s great, man. You know, he’s a big ole white boy. He’s tough as nails, man and he’s got a conscious. He may not do a lot of things, but he definitely has a conscious. He’s a nice, straight shooting guy, man. And he’s good at what he does.

“The Dab,” the honey that you have, explain that one to me because I have no idea what it is and the usage of it.

Tommy Chong: “The Dab?” That stuff, man is so potent. Back in the day we used to call it, hash. Now it’s refined hash. It will definitely boost your highness to a new high (laughing). You just need a couple of hits. That’s all it takes. It’s like freebasing pot.

I also see you are going to be doing some giveaways although you say it’s your shit and you don’t really want to give it away, but you are anyways (laughing).

Tommy Chong: (Laughing)! It’s tough with me, man because everything I do is considered art. I consider it art. But there is some stuff… collectibles let’s put it that way. What we are trying to do is build up our audience. We’re trying to get a lot of people watching the show. You know once you build up an audience it becomes worth some money. So, in order to build it up we’ll have to do some gimmicks like giveaways and stuff. I already gave away a scooter that I got on, “That 70’s Show.” When the show wrapped, they gave everybody a scooter as a present. And they are giving that away because it’s too dangerous for me. And I got a whole bunch of guitars I want to give away because I want to get some new ones for myself. I’m just going to live my life. I got a new art gallery out in Topanga. It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be very cool.

Mr. Tommy, it’s been an honor, my man. I appreciate the time and I hope to speak with you again soon.

Tommy Chong: I will have to give you a call when I’m out in New Orleans. Thank you!



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