Tommy Chong is in a tight spot, man. To hear him discuss it, you’d almost think he’s describing the plot of one of the skits he used to do with his partner, Cheech Marin. But for a comedian who manages to find humor even in the nine-month prison term he recently served for selling bongs, his new legal woes aren’t exactly cracking him up. Forced, he says, by the terms of his parole to quit a stage production called “The Marijuana-Logues,” and uncomfortable with rejoining the cast even after his parole is over in July, Chong is now being sued by the show’s producers for breach of contract.

As the hippy half of Cheech and Chong, a bizarro stoned Abbot and Costello, Chong became a pop pot icon along with Marin upon the release of their eponymous 1971 debut. The album of skits and songs included the classics “Dave”—with Marin as a dealer on the lam, begging his blitzed roommate to unlock the door for him—and “Cruising with Pedro de Pacas,” which also plumbs the theme of dumb druggies dodging cops. But the real-life law caught up with the real-life Chong two years ago for having invested in a business that sells bongs online. On parole now, he tells NEWSWEEK that he can’t do “The Marijuana-Logues” legally until he gets off probation. Still, even after his probation expires, he says, “I don’t feel comfortable because I’m trying to get my record expunged. I’d still be thumbing my nose at the government [that] just finished putting me in jail.”

I have a libertarian streak, and the War on Drugs is one of my many pet peeves. I don’t think Angel Dust should be legal, but it’s appalling effects have pretty much doomed its appeal without any meaningful governmental intervention.

Marijuana, on the other hand, has never been linked to anti-social behavior. And it is very good for the packaged sweets industry. If you smoke pot, have smoked pot, or wish that you could smoke pot without breaking the law, you should feel Tommy Chong’s pain. He’s given me enough laughs to assure that I will always be a big supporter. Why this man cannot participate in The Marijuana Dialogues is beyond me. And to see him sued for trying to abide by his absurd conditions of probation, is just Kafkaesque.

Take the poll.

0 0 votes
Article Rating