Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Brad McIntosh made the trip from Minnesota to Kelowna this week to celebrate pot history in Canada.

And he had the added bonus of meeting his comedic hero Tommy Chong, who visited Kelowna on Friday to attend a meet and greet public reception hosted by Quick Grow and Diablo Nutrients.

“I am 64 years old and I never thought I would see the day when this would happen,” said McIntosh, referring to Canada being the second country to legalize marijuana, following in the footsteps of Uruguay.

“People I know back home in St. Cloud who smoke marijuana think it is really cool to see what Canada has done.

“Some of the old negative stigmas about pot still exist here I noticed since I arrived in Canada on Monday, but pot will put a smile on anyone’s face no matter who you are.”

RELATED: Cannabis pioneer delayed by passport mishap

As for Chong, he also had a big smile on his face, wanting to join in the celebration of cannabis legalization in Canada.

“It makes me feel good about my country, proud to be a Canadian,” Chong said. “We are the first among the western countries to come to our senses.”

Chong, who rose to fame in the 1970s and ’80s with his comedy partner Cheech Marin writing hit albums and movies about the marijuana culture, jokingly said he is responsible for cannabis being legalized here.

Fans of Tommy Chong toke up prior to the start of his public appearance in Kelowna on Friday. Photo: Barry Gerding/Black Press

“I think they should build a statue of me somewhere. Not in Edmonton where I was born because it is too cold there even for a statue. Not in Vancouver because there are too many pigeons. Maybe in Victoria, I love that city,” he laughed.

He is fond of Kelowna as well, having first visited the Okanagan back in the 1950s. “It looks different today than when I first came here, but then again everything looks different now that weed is legalized.”

Chong said the medicinal values of cannabis can now be better researched with legalization, something he understands the value of from his own personal bouts with cancer and how he feels that aided his recovery.

RELATED: Tommy Chong shares special message with Kelowna

“I’m not saying that marijuana cured my cancer, but it did affect my state of mind. Your mind controls your body. When you mind is full of stress, that affects your body. When marijuana relieves that stress, it allows the body to do its work and it helps you heel.”

Chong maintains there is no downside to cannabis use, citing the smiles he sees on the faces of people he meets in marijuana dispensaries to drug addicts who often find marijuana an alleviating agent for heroin and opiate addictions.

He does not feel pot use is a gateway to harder drugs, saying you can’t die from an overdose—“believe me I have tried enough times”—and just puts people in a better mindset in life.

“When I was in jail, I had to take a drug education course and I loved it. I learned all about drugs. I learned that alcohol addiction kills more people than anything else and it’s legal. Now that dope is legal, maybe it will replace the need for many people to drink alcohol and the world can become a more peaceful place.”

Chong added his Kelowna appearance is a reflection if a renewed interest in him since cannabis became legal in Canada, being asked to appear on television shows to articulate his views on marijuana.

“I am in big-time demand again all over, and it is fun. There is nothing comedians live more than an audience. We would do our act in front of a dog if no one else was around. But I love meeting people and to be among those here in Canada to see the intelligence behind this beautiful plant,” he said.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Valley SPCA overwhelmed with 45 cats taken from local property

Many of the cats have never been around humans, or have never been touched or handled.

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

Applications open for record bursary, scholarship funding at North Island College

Current and future North Island College students can now apply for scholarships… Continue reading

Second Stage Players present laughter and love in We Are Family

Get your tickets early to see the Evergreen Club’s Second Stage Players’… Continue reading

Verdict gives murder victims’ parents sense of closure

A guilty verdict delivered earlier this week was “like a weight lifted off the chest.”

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

Couple rescued after Sea to Sky Gondola refused ride down hill

‘We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down’

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

B.C. girl and her toy monkey make videos to fight negativity on Facebook

Ava Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page last month

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

Paramedic staff shortage at critical level: B.C. union

A number of units were out of service due to lack of staffing in Lower Mainland, union says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read