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Pot icon Tommy Chong makes movie of his imprisonment
reuters.com ^ | 9 10 05 | Cameron French

Posted on 09/12/2005 4:36:47 PM PDT by freepatriot32

TORONTO (Reuters) - Comedian Tommy Chong has spent almost three decades wringing laughs from cigar-sized joints and smoke-filled vans but now a nine-month jail term has turned him serious and revitalized his flagging career.

Promoting his documentary "a/k/a Tommy Chong" at the Toronto International Film Festival, he hopes the film will expose what he says is the U.S. government's heavy-handed dealing with marijuana offenders in the post-September 11 era.

"The United States is under martial law, it's under dictatorship," the 67-year-old father of four said in an interview.

The film chronicles the Canadian-born comedian's 2003 arrest and imprisonment for selling drug paraphernalia online to an undercover U.S. drug enforcement agent.

The bust was part of a sting operation known as "Operation Pipe Dreams," which the film likens to a witch hunt by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft following claims that drug trafficking financed terrorist activities.

The film's producers say the federal government spent $12 million pursuing Chong and compare that to the $25 million bounty for the capture of Osama bin Laden.

Chong has been an outspoken marijuana advocate since his days in the Cheech and Chong comedy team, which rode pot culture to fame in the 1970s with films like "Up in Smoke" and "Still Smokin."

The documentary suggests the government's motive was not to rid the Internet of a mail-order pipe-and-bong business but to send a message about Chong's three decades of movies and stand-up routines celebrating marijuana use.

"DEA AFRAID"

"The DEA was afraid that 'Up in Smoke' (the 1978 movie that made Cheech and Chong a household name) was going to be around forever and ever subverting young kids," Chong said. "Now, we've got this documentary that's going to be around forever."

Faced with the prospect of seeing his wife and son -- who was running the pipe business -- being prosecuted, Chong said he made a deal to serve nine months in a minimum-security prison

"It was easier for me to go to jail and do the time than it would be to fight," he said.

Since his release in 2004, Chong has worked the ordeal into his comedy routines and has been enjoying a larger stage than in his recent past.

"Jay Leno is a good example," he said. "He had me on the 'Tonight Show' before but just for little peripheral things, never on the couch, and when this happened, now I've been on the couch twice now."

"It's like the weed culture. You just wait, it'll change. Everything changes. Bush won't be in power forever, Ashcroft is already gone. There's going to be another cycle and it's going to go the other way."


TOPICS: TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: baliffwhackhispeepee; baliffwhackhispp; chatwardbound; chittychittychatchat; davesnothere; dope; dopeheads; dopers; dopesmokingchat; druggielosers; dudedontharshmybuzz; dudeiwannagethigh; freaks; govwatch; his; hollywoodpinglist; iamsooooooooowasted; icon; imprisonment; iwannasmokepotmommy; johnsvan; liberaldopeheads; liberalitarians; makes; movedtochat; movie; of; passthebongman; pot; potheads; stoners; tommychong; turnonthelavalamp; wodlist
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1 posted on 09/12/2005 4:36:50 PM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: Allosaurs_r_us; Abram; AlexandriaDuke; Annie03; Baby Bear; bassmaner; Bernard; BJClinton; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here
2 posted on 09/12/2005 4:37:38 PM PDT by freepatriot32 (Deep within every dilemma is a solution that involves explosives)
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To: Wolfie

ping


3 posted on 09/12/2005 4:38:03 PM PDT by freepatriot32 (Deep within every dilemma is a solution that involves explosives)
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To: freepatriot32

Like far out man.


4 posted on 09/12/2005 4:39:07 PM PDT by Borges
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To: freepatriot32

they call him santa clees
he's the man with the boney knees.


5 posted on 09/12/2005 4:39:11 PM PDT by pipecorp (Let's have a CRUSADE! , the muslims have already started. 1700 replies and not a single post!)
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To: Borges

That's what I was gonna say.


6 posted on 09/12/2005 4:39:46 PM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: freepatriot32
The film's producers say the federal government spent $12 million pursuing Chong

That's hard to believe.

7 posted on 09/12/2005 4:40:01 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Borges

I'm sorry.... what did he say?


8 posted on 09/12/2005 4:40:36 PM PDT by Peter J. Huss
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To: freepatriot32

Just think of all the worthless druggies who's lives were saved by going to prison when they refused to straighten out.
Chong would probably died already without law enforcement intervention.
I bet he looked great in an orange jumpsuit.
He can be an example to others of what NOT TO DO.

:-)


9 posted on 09/12/2005 4:40:44 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: freepatriot32
Bush won't be in power forever

True, but you'll always be an idiot Tommy. Now move along (or move on), we have other things to deal with than your hopeless pot addiction.

Damn, at least Cheech grew up.

10 posted on 09/12/2005 4:41:15 PM PDT by silent_jonny (Nola! N-O-L-A, Nola!)
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To: freepatriot32

Huh? Dave's not here, man.


11 posted on 09/12/2005 4:41:22 PM PDT by No Longer Free State (Saddam Hussein harboured and paid terrorists. Any questions?)
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To: Izzy Dunne
Going after tax evaders the feds get like that, look at Waco all for a couple hundred in taxes.
12 posted on 09/12/2005 4:41:23 PM PDT by dts32041 (Shinkichi: Massuer, did you see that? Zat˘ichi: I don't see much)
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To: dts32041
look at Waco all for a couple hundred in taxes.

Yeah, taxes and the cache of illegal assault rifles and explosives that Koresh was hording inside his compound.

13 posted on 09/12/2005 4:44:02 PM PDT by silent_jonny (Nola! N-O-L-A, Nola!)
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To: freepatriot32

I must admit, he and Cheech were super funny. Chong did play roles well -- especially his main role as the drugged-out, hippie-reject. Got alot of laughs out of those two whackos.

Didn't realize he had been in the slammer that many times -- hard core I guess. The MSM is willing to print anything, and the radical movie-making left will make ANYTHING that is anti-American.....enter stage left, Tommy Chong.


14 posted on 09/12/2005 4:44:14 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: pipecorp

It's the Santa Claus and his old lady commune.


15 posted on 09/12/2005 4:45:33 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If you must obey your party, may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.)
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To: A CA Guy
I dunno, man. But, like, as a Liberalitarian, my goal in life is to pay lip service to conservative ideology, just so long as it doesn't encroach on my freedom to live in my parent's basement, smoke an awful lotta dope, and pig out on my mom's brownies while calling the non-stoners fascists...like, y'know...?

Whoaaaa...head rush!   whoaaaa

16 posted on 09/12/2005 4:46:52 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: EagleUSA

I liked him as Leo on "That 70s show"


17 posted on 09/12/2005 4:46:57 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If you must obey your party, may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.)
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To: freepatriot32
"HEY MAN...THIS'LL MAKE A...(inhaling)...COOL MOVIE, MAN."
18 posted on 09/12/2005 4:47:36 PM PDT by F16Fighter
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To: freepatriot32
Rae Dawn was Tommy's best work.


19 posted on 09/12/2005 4:49:12 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: freepatriot32
"Libertarian ping."

You are advocating this garbage?

20 posted on 09/12/2005 4:49:12 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
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To: cripplecreek

yeah, man i've played with that dude.


21 posted on 09/12/2005 4:50:15 PM PDT by pipecorp (Let's have a CRUSADE! , the muslims have already started. 1700 replies and not a single post!)
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To: Prime Choice
Hey, look at the bright side, at least you aren't with the libertarians who sided with the ACLU in defending NAMBLA's practices with little boys. :-)
22 posted on 09/12/2005 4:51:08 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Yo-Yo
Rae Dawn was Tommy's best work.

And Rae Dawn's best work was "Commando" :)

23 posted on 09/12/2005 4:52:41 PM PDT by silent_jonny (Nola! N-O-L-A, Nola!)
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To: freepatriot32
I've gotta Marijuana JONES! I've gotta Marijuana JONES!

Yeah, I know Cheech sang the lead on that one...

24 posted on 09/12/2005 4:53:07 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: A CA Guy
Those people I don't even bother lampooning. I just annihilate them where they stood.
25 posted on 09/12/2005 4:53:42 PM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: A CA Guy

How, pray tell is MARIJUANA, a LEGAL SUBSTANCE until the 1930s, more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes? Can you answer that question Joe Friday?


26 posted on 09/12/2005 4:54:16 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: Prime Choice

Go ahead and lampoon them and when they push for open borders, love making to children by adults and illegal drug use, we can link your stuff (with your permission of course).


27 posted on 09/12/2005 4:55:18 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Clemenza
Better question is what is the morality you have that lets you pollute the population with more cr@p"

Fine, alcohol is bad, so go start an anti-alcohol thread and I'll post to it.
28 posted on 09/12/2005 4:57:28 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

The gentleman above spent much of his career raving against the evils of Marijuana, only to die of lung cancer. Another hypocritical law and order freak from Californicate.

29 posted on 09/12/2005 4:58:14 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: A CA Guy

"Pot is evil, evil is sin, sin is forgive, so pot is in."


30 posted on 09/12/2005 4:58:50 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: Clemenza

I agree, and that is why we have lots of laws prohibiting smoking in public now.

Great find.


31 posted on 09/12/2005 4:59:23 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

You guys can have your non-smoking sections. If you come after cigar store, however, its time for me to break out the heavy artillery. :-)


32 posted on 09/12/2005 5:01:06 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: Clemenza

It's a drug, it has been given the "gateway" tag because it is often mixed with harsher drugs or moves people on to harsher drugs.

Better all the dealers go to jail or die in the process of putting them there rather than messing with our culture and children.


33 posted on 09/12/2005 5:01:08 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Clemenza
He smoked pot? I had no idea.
34 posted on 09/12/2005 5:01:29 PM PDT by escapefromboston (manny ortez: mvp)
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To: Clemenza

Yep, you can smoke at home, but not around the children. :-)


35 posted on 09/12/2005 5:01:54 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: escapefromboston

Jack Webb may have been a major jazz aficionado, but he considered Marijuana to be an "evil" to be eradicated from society. He was, however, a chain cigarette smoker.


36 posted on 09/12/2005 5:04:45 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: Clemenza; A CA Guy
"Another hypocritical law and order freak from Californicate"

Could you please try to be more transparent? Your liberal attack strategy on A CA Guy makes him look kinda fuzzy from here.

Nah, forget it. I held my BS meter next to the monitor and that made your post go away. A CA Guy looks fine now.

Carry on.

37 posted on 09/12/2005 5:05:11 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
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To: A CA Guy
Fine, alcohol is bad, so go start an anti-alcohol thread and I'll post to it.

I'm still waiting for the day you show up on an "original intent" thread.

38 posted on 09/12/2005 5:08:38 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Leapfrog
There is nothing liberal about wanting to be able to breath in public places.
Had the smokers had more manners, this might not had to be put into law, right?
You don't see people unzipping and urinating at your public dinner table, so why should someone be smoking in the clean air "inside" a public place?

As far as druggies, first jail the distributors, sellers and growers and we'll go from there. I bet they love jail and expect it.
39 posted on 09/12/2005 5:09:54 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: tacticalogic
The only "Original Intent" libertarians seem to have IMO is getting all their vices into law to create anarchy and I am against that.
40 posted on 09/12/2005 5:11:16 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

No, I don't have a problem with anti-smoking laws in most cases.

It's the Libertarians who want to equate a cigarette and a joint that tickle me.

If they want to play that game, equate the joint to a fifth of Jack Daniels.


41 posted on 09/12/2005 5:13:55 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
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To: A CA Guy
The only "Original Intent" libertarians seem to have IMO is getting all their vices into law to create anarchy and I am against that.

"IMO" from posers doesn't count for much. A handful of canned responses, and a quick exit when you have to back it up.

42 posted on 09/12/2005 5:16:51 PM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: A CA Guy; Leapfrog

Leave it up to the restaurant and tavern owners. If they want a nonsmoking clientele, they can do what many have done here in Seattle and advertise as a nonsmoking establishment. No need to get big brother government involved.


43 posted on 09/12/2005 5:16:52 PM PDT by Clemenza (What's Puzzling You is Just the Nature of My Game)
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To: Leapfrog
Libertarians can't handle the drug issue straight on, so they try to drag in cigs, alcohol and dying cancer patients for their drug access.

I find that branch of their party to be contemptible and pathetic.
44 posted on 09/12/2005 5:18:05 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy
" I find that branch of their party to be contemptible and pathetic."

That was my sentiment at #37.

45 posted on 09/12/2005 5:20:22 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
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To: Clemenza

If the tavern owners want to smoke in their private homes, they should go for it. The public places are more and more being protected.


46 posted on 09/12/2005 5:20:52 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Leapfrog

If the libertarians are so conservative, how come they are such social liberals?


47 posted on 09/12/2005 5:22:00 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: freepatriot32

His prison was in Taft, CA. That's hard time.


48 posted on 09/12/2005 5:23:03 PM PDT by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: A CA Guy
"how come they are such social liberals?"

... 'cuz it feels good, man!...

Think of a stoned hippie who wrote a book on how to grow pot, makes a few million in sales, then spends the rest of his life smoking the proceeds... Libertarian.

49 posted on 09/12/2005 5:27:22 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (an enemy of islam -- Joe Boucher; Leapfrog; Dr.Zoidberg; Lazamataz; ...)
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To: Leapfrog

AMEN


50 posted on 09/12/2005 5:29:02 PM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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