Much is being made of Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ appeal to younger voters but don’t forget about the aging hippies who spent the 1960s burning American flags, growing their hair out, avoiding bath soap as if it were Ebola and drifting around in a drug-induced fog. One of those cultural relics – Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong – is unabashedly for Bern because he wants to be able to score his stash legally.
I admit that I used to get a big kick out of some of Cheech and Chong’s albums with and without the pervasive doper humor but most people evolve and move on. Take Cheech Marin who cleaned up his act and has become one of America’s most beloved Hispanic character actors over the years and is today a wealthy and respectable man.
Chong however seems to have been stuck at Haight-Ashbury for the last four decades and made headlines several years back when he was caught up in a federal investigation over the sale of illegal drug paraphernalia – particularly bongs – over the internet. Now Mr. Chong is among those feeling the Bern.
Rolling Stone magazine reports that “Tommy Chong on Why He Supports Bernie: Weed, Basically”:
He laughs it off, but the last seven months have been rough for Tommy Chong. He’s been battling cancer that recurred in June after three years of remission. “The good part about my health is that I have to smoke a ton of pot to stay happy, to feel good, to keep my appetite, because I lost a lot of weight,” Chong tells Rolling Stone.
He has five more months of chemotherapy left to go, but he says he’s managing to enjoy life in the meantime. “I just go lay out in the sun. That’s all I do these days.”
Though that’s not quite true: For a cancer-stricken 77-year-old, Chong is industrious. He hosts a web series — Almost Legal With Tommy Chong — on which he interviews celebrities and weed activists. He just launched Chong’s Choice, a line of pot-related products, like pre-rolled joints and marijuana-infused breath strips. And this past week he debuted a video, and did a slew of interviews, in support of Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid.
“When you play a game like Monopoly, when one person or a couple of people own everything, the other people go broke and there’s no more game, you see? So Bernie is like this referee. He’s got no reason to be president other than to make sure that everybody plays by the same rules,” Chong says.
It’s what passes for sophisticated political analysis for the old stoner, that and Donald Trump is the Republicans’ karma. Sanders will no doubt be thrilled to have Chong’s public endorsement, combine all the weed that one can smoke with some of fellow Bernie supporters Ben and Jerry’s “Bernie’s Yearning” ice cream and you have a winning recipe although God only knows for what.