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

Who was Chris Bloomfield, the Mill Bay man shot by police?

A troubled man with a voracious appetite for illicit drugs and a non-conventional lifestyle

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Vancouver Island brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Victoria-based brewers said goodbye to confusing hexagon logo

Country music will be flowing with the beer at Riot Brewing Co.

It’s the perfect mix for an entertaining evening Friday

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Who was Chris Bloomfield, the Mill Bay man shot by police?

A troubled man with a voracious appetite for illicit drugs and a non-conventional lifestyle

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Most Read