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Comedian Tommy Chong Gets Nine Months on Paraphernalia Charges
Assoiciated Press ^ | Sept. 11, 2003 | Dan Nephin

Posted on 09/11/2003 9:14:25 AM PDT by Wolfie

Comedian Tommy Chong Gets Nine Months on Paraphernalia Charges

Pittsburgh — Tommy Chong, who played one half of the dope-smoking duo in Cheech and Chong movies, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison and fined $20,000 on Thursday for selling bongs and other drug paraphernalia over the Internet.

The 65-year-old Chong was allowed to remain free until federal prison officials tell him in a few weeks where he must report to prison.

Chong also forfeited about $100,000 for his arrest on federal drug paraphernalia charges. He'll spend a year on probation after he's released from prison.

Chong's business, Nice Dreams Enterprises, which made a line of marijuana bongs and pipes, was to be sentenced later Thursday.

Chong pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to sell drug paraphernalia and also pleaded guilty on behalf of Nice Dreams Enterprises, which did business under the name Chong Glass.

Chong's plea came after federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents purchased his paraphernalia and had them shipped to an undercover business in Beaver Falls, a city northwest of Pittsburgh. Agents also confiscated his company's paraphernalia during raids of "head shops" in numerous states and confiscated "thousands of marijuana bongs and pipes" in a raid of his Gardena, Calif., business.

His plea followed a series of raids in February by the DEA in which at least 55 people were charged with trafficking in illegal drug paraphernalia. Federal officials said the investigation targeted the nation's biggest Internet distributors of paraphernalia.

Prosecutors said Chong was the first person to plead guilty in the raids.

The actor-comedian recently had a recurring role on Fox's "That '70s Show."


TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: addiction; wodlist
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1 posted on 09/11/2003 9:14:27 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
I feel so much safer now.
2 posted on 09/11/2003 9:17:45 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help support terrorism.)
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To: Wolfie
The goose steppers are on the move.
3 posted on 09/11/2003 9:18:35 AM PDT by corkoman (did someone say cheese?)
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To: Wolfie
This sucks, I liked his Leo character on That 70s show.

I don't understand how the government can outlaw an object and the selling of that object if it has a legal use? He was not supplying the actual drugs. Just stupid, a waste of money.
4 posted on 09/11/2003 9:22:49 AM PDT by CollegeRepublican
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To: corkoman
Don't call them to ask for Dave.

He's not there.
5 posted on 09/11/2003 9:24:20 AM PDT by Mr. Jazzy (Proud to be a charter member of the Anit-Tag Line Association.)
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To: CollegeRepublican
Leagal use being... what? Smoking tobacco with a bong? Yeah, that's what people use them for...
6 posted on 09/11/2003 9:24:52 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: Wolfie
Thank God that animal is off the streets.
7 posted on 09/11/2003 9:25:09 AM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: CollegeRepublican
Don't get me wrong, I don't think he's an evil dude, but he did break the law. And I'm sure he knew that he was doing so. At least he's man enough to face up to the consequences.
8 posted on 09/11/2003 9:26:55 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: Wolfie
I don't understand how this can happen when here in San Diego, at least, we still have quite a few headshops selling bongs, pipes and all manner of obvious drug paraphernalia. All with little signs that say, "Its not a Bong, its a Water Pipe" and that those who use the dreaded "B" word will be asked to leave.

Is selling this stuff illegal or not?
9 posted on 09/11/2003 9:27:01 AM PDT by Trampled by Lambs (...and pecked by the dove...)
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To: Wolfie
Should of established business in Arizona.

All kinds of smoke shops with bongs and pipes here, it's legal biz.
10 posted on 09/11/2003 9:28:15 AM PDT by Rain-maker
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To: CollegeRepublican
I don't understand how the government can outlaw an object and the selling of that object if it has a legal use? He was not supplying the actual drugs. Just stupid, a waste of money.

There are those who wish to apply the same logic to guns.

11 posted on 09/11/2003 9:28:28 AM PDT by Blue Screen of Death
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To: Wolfie
More Ashcroft idiocy.
12 posted on 09/11/2003 9:31:28 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Mr. Jazzy
"Hey man, who cut your hair"?
13 posted on 09/11/2003 9:34:03 AM PDT by Cuttnhorse
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To: corkoman
The goose steppers are on the move.

See post 8 above for an example of equating law with morality.
14 posted on 09/11/2003 9:34:44 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Trampled by Lambs
Problem was selling it over the internet.

The laws prohibiting sale of paraphernalia differ greatly from state to state. And even city to city. Maybe he shipped to "dry" jurisdictions.

Thing is, the shops that sell this stuff get it from wholesalers. It moves over state lines in transit. How this differs to what Tommy did is unknown.
15 posted on 09/11/2003 9:38:24 AM PDT by moehoward
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To: Wolfie
Another tremendous victory for the WoD!! Let's throw a few more billion dollars at this and we might be able to bust a couple of teenagers smoking a doob behind the 7-11!
16 posted on 09/11/2003 9:40:22 AM PDT by CheezyD
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To: aruanan
Thanks for pointing that out. I assume you are saying that the law is wrong? I'm not sure that I agree, because I am not a "if-it-feels-good-do-it" kind of person. The drug war has lots of contradictions to which I have no answers. But a lack of resolution doesn't mean that those laws in regards to drugs and drug paraphenalia can be ignored without consequence.

While it is something I wouldn't have done, I can see TChong's point of view and his actions. And, at the same time, I can respect him for basically saying, "Yeah, dude, I'm guilty. I'm takin' rap for it."

That was my point, okay?
17 posted on 09/11/2003 9:44:04 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: CheezyD
"Class! Class! CLASS!
18 posted on 09/11/2003 9:44:07 AM PDT by 50sDad ("There are FOUR LIGHTS! FOUR LIGHTS!")
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To: CheezyD
I have to notice that the other member of this semi-memorable team has grown up, gone on with his life, and is playing adult characters his own age. It's no longer 1972, folks.
19 posted on 09/11/2003 9:45:28 AM PDT by 50sDad ("There are FOUR LIGHTS! FOUR LIGHTS!")
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To: Frank_Discussion
Yup
20 posted on 09/11/2003 9:45:31 AM PDT by biblewonk (Spose to be a Chrisssssssstian)
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To: Frank_Discussion
"Smoking tobacco with a bong?" Yuck, I bet that would make you very sick.
21 posted on 09/11/2003 9:49:51 AM PDT by TBall
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To: Frank_Discussion
If the prosecutor in this jurisdiction has the time to run a sting on bong sales by a 65 year old pop icon, I hope there are no unsolved murders, rapes, thefts, etc. in that locale. The point is, our tax dollars are wasted on law enforcement spending time on the penny-ante $hit that harms no one while they cry lack of manpower to solve real crime.
22 posted on 09/11/2003 9:51:17 AM PDT by somemoreequalthanothers (Don't.....answer the phone man!)
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To: 50sDad
First they came for the Bongs, and I said nothing because I wasn't a dope smoker...., Then they came for the SUVs and I said nothing, because i drove a Ford Escort;Then they came for the Guns, And the rest of my Freedoms along with them......
23 posted on 09/11/2003 9:51:39 AM PDT by hobbes1 ( Hobbes1TheOmniscient® "I know everything so you don't have to" ;)
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To: TBall
I noticed that no-one has explained the legal use of a bong, er, excuse me, WATER PIPE.
24 posted on 09/11/2003 9:51:46 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: Wolfie
Matthew 5:10
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
25 posted on 09/11/2003 9:57:41 AM PDT by PaxMacian (Gen 1:29)
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To: Frank_Discussion
I noticed that no-one has explained the legal use of a bong, er, excuse me, WATER PIPE.

Back in my day, we would fill ours with colored water and place it on the coffee table (old wire cable spool, of course).

It was simply beautiful. "Art," if you will. That's legal, isn't it?</sarcasm>

26 posted on 09/11/2003 9:59:44 AM PDT by newgeezer (Just my opinion, of course. Your mileage may vary. You have the right to be wrong.)
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To: Frank_Discussion
decoration
27 posted on 09/11/2003 10:00:52 AM PDT by TBall
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To: CollegeRepublican
I don't understand how the government can outlaw an object and the selling of that object if it has a legal use?

It's one of those dangerous 'dual use technologies'.

28 posted on 09/11/2003 10:02:55 AM PDT by StriperSniper (The slippery slope is getting steeper.)
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To: Wolfie
Ashcroft is a puritanical fundamentalist fanatic.

In the view of people like him, the only proper activities in life are going to work, going to church (frequently), and having "family time"

He's going after potheads and pornographers because they are symbolic of everyone in society who rejects his repressive mores. They may actually be having fun and that cannot be tolerated in Ashcroft's America.

Meanwhile, millions of illegal immigrants run rampant.
29 posted on 09/11/2003 10:03:25 AM PDT by WackyKat
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To: monkeyshine
ping
30 posted on 09/11/2003 10:04:32 AM PDT by somemoreequalthanothers (Don't.....answer the phone man!)
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To: Frank_Discussion
"I noticed that no-one has explained the legal use of a bong, er, excuse me, WATER PIPE."

There is none. This is a fiction created by the headshops in order to stay open due to a loophole in the law. Apparently, as long as a product does not explicitly state that it is intended for illegal drug use, it is legal. Someone decided that the word "bong" meant drug use was intended while a "water pipe" could claim to be for tobacco use even though everyone concerned knows better.

31 posted on 09/11/2003 10:04:44 AM PDT by Trampled by Lambs (...and pecked by the dove...)
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To: TBall
Oh, in that case, I'll trot out some kiddie porn, frame it, and hang it on the wall. It would just be "decoration".

I'm not equating kiddie porn and drugs, but rather saying that owning illegal-use items and re-defining them in their unused state as "decoration" is a bunch of crap.
32 posted on 09/11/2003 10:04:49 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: Frank_Discussion
Hookah Bars Enjoy A Blaze of Popularity
33 posted on 09/11/2003 10:06:16 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
Laugh if you will, but one more 65 year-old accessory to terrorism will soon be off the street!

I'm trying my best to feel safer.

Declare Victory and go home, Czar Walters.
34 posted on 09/11/2003 10:07:21 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Frank_Discussion
explained the legal use of a bong, er, excuse me, WATER PIPE.

Besides tobacco, there are plenty of herbs that the government hasn't outlawed(yet) that could be smoked with them.

35 posted on 09/11/2003 10:07:35 AM PDT by StriperSniper (The slippery slope is getting steeper.)
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To: Wolfie
Hmmm... A realistic response. Thank you!
36 posted on 09/11/2003 10:07:35 AM PDT by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: *Wod_list; MrLeRoy; jmc813
DIY ping.


37 posted on 09/11/2003 10:08:51 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: WackyKat
In the view of people like him, the only proper activities in life are going to work, going to church (frequently), and having "family time"

Wow, that's a tough one: work, church and family time - or smoking dope? What to do, what to do?

38 posted on 09/11/2003 10:09:01 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: Frank_Discussion
Guns are used illegally often.
Do you have the same opinion of them?
39 posted on 09/11/2003 10:14:39 AM PDT by PaxMacian (Gen 1:29)
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To: mountaineer
Whatever you decide, make sure you check with the government first.
40 posted on 09/11/2003 10:14:55 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie
Not necessary.
41 posted on 09/11/2003 10:16:54 AM PDT by mountaineer
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To: Blue Screen of Death
I don't understand how the government can outlaw an object and the selling of that object if it has a legal use? He was not supplying the actual drugs. Just stupid, a waste of money.

There are those who wish to apply the same logic to guns.

Bingo- beat me to it.

But, think of the children.... Won't someone please think of the children?

42 posted on 09/11/2003 10:17:56 AM PDT by Modernman
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To: Frank_Discussion
Check out Jock Sturges or Sally Mann.
43 posted on 09/11/2003 10:18:34 AM PDT by PaxMacian (Gen 1:29)
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To: mountaineer
Better safe than sorry. Its the American Way. Wouldn't want to get caught coloring outside the lines.
44 posted on 09/11/2003 10:18:59 AM PDT by Wolfie
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To: Modernman
I think the children need protection from Osama more than from Tommy Chong.
45 posted on 09/11/2003 10:19:49 AM PDT by MrLeRoy (The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. - Jefferson)
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To: Mr. Jazzy

I wish I could remember all the words to "The Bust." All I can remember is "Apriiiiiilllll Fooooolsss! Hey man, did you think I was a cop? What are you cryin' for man?"

46 posted on 09/11/2003 10:20:28 AM PDT by Skooz (Exterminate Terrorist Vermin)
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To: Frank_Discussion
way back yonder, i had several friends that absolutely, positively did NOT smoke dope, but love to buy different looking roach clips with feathers and such and clip them to their hatbands (they were rodeo nuts). One day a new cop in the small town in which we lived told them that is was paraphenalia and he could arrest them for having them in their possession.

They said ok...tell ya what dude go in their and arrest the owner of the only diner in town for having drug paraphanelia....they said she has a bottle of toothpicks on every table and everyone we know that smokes dope, breaks a toothpick in half to use as a clip. Either that or a bobby pin, so arrest every lady you see with bobby pins in her hair.

Barney got upset over this and tried to make a fuss, till someone explained to him just how easy it would be to dispose of his body in the local swamp.

He had no more problems with roach clips after that...Now remember this was in a small town (700 pop) in very rural NE louisiana about 20 or so yrs ago....barney had a "come to Jesus" meeting and saw the error of his ways.
47 posted on 09/11/2003 10:20:56 AM PDT by cajun-jack
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I feel so much safer now.

You beat me to it.

48 posted on 09/11/2003 10:22:12 AM PDT by Protagoras (Putting government in charge of morality is like putting pedophiles in charge of children.)
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To: mountaineer
Wow, that's a tough one: work, church and family time - or smoking dope? What to do, what to do?

Hey, do whatever you want- if church is your thing, more power to you. My idea of a good time might be different and, as long as my vices harm only myself and other willing participants, why would you care?

49 posted on 09/11/2003 10:22:12 AM PDT by Modernman
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To: WackyKat
"Ashcroft is a puritanical fundamentalist fanatic. "

So right! He is worse than the islamic fundamentalist terrorists because he has real power.
50 posted on 09/11/2003 10:22:18 AM PDT by PaxMacian (Gen 1:29)
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