He became a stoner cultural icon in 1978 with “Up in Smoke,” the first of a lucrative series of Cheech & Chong movies that comically celebrated pleasures of pot during a wholly illicit era for marijuana.
Tommy Chong went on to go to federal prison in 2003 after pleading guilty to distributing drug paraphernalia by selling bongs and water pipes over the Internet. At 65, he announced he’d quit smoking the marijuana herb that made him famous and rich.
Years later, he was stricken with cancer, underwent tumor removal surgery and became a born-again medical marijuana user and advocate.
Now Chong, who turns 78 in May, is reemerging as a wry sage in the marijuana politics movement. He stars in a viral video endorsement for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in which he backs the Vermont senator as the next “Commander in Kush.”
– Read the entire article at The Sacramento Bee.