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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read