Feature

Tommy Chong’s pot-free life

Why Tommy Chong no longer sees pot is "a gift from God"

Tommy Chong is no longer a stoner, says Matt Diehl in Maxim. As half of the hippie comedy team of Cheech and Chong, he used to riff endlessly about the joys and wonders of marijuana. “Pot is a gift from God,” Chong would say. “You share it.” But all that changed in 2003, when he pleaded guilty to a charge of selling drug paraphernalia over the Internet and served nine months in prison. “I’d been smoking pot for 50 years, but I quit when I was incarcerated,” he says. “I was offered pot every day, but it didn’t make much sense to me to break the law behind bars.” Chong now thinks his time behind bars was a blessing in disguise. “Prison was a defining moment in my life that I knew was coming. I just knew there was some very freaky s--- coming down. I talked to the bongs, asking them, ‘What are you trying to tell me?’ But a bong is not going to start speaking, you know. It was crazy.” Prison gave him time to reflect on his life and to get in touch with his true self. “I turned my jail time into a religious retreat and the time just flew by. I was like a monk—I could almost walk on water by the end.” Chong, now 71, last year reunited with Cheech Marin for a successful tour, and says he never felt better. “I’m always high, even though I don’t smoke pot anymore. I have reached nirvana.”

Recommended

Against 'Strawberry Fields Forever'
The Beatles.
Picture of Jeva LangeJeva Lange

Against 'Strawberry Fields Forever'

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers star Jane Powell dies at 92
Jane Powell.
rest in peace

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers star Jane Powell dies at 92

The daily gossip: September 16, 2021
Reba McEntire
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: September 16, 2021

Let science fiction be weird again
Sci-fi art.
Samuel Goldman

Let science fiction be weird again

Most Popular

Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer hoping 'not to get canceled'
Leon Bennett/Getty Images
'what have I done in the last three months'

Emmys host Cedric the Entertainer hoping 'not to get canceled'

How Newsom ran away with the recall
Gavin Newsom.
Picture of David FarisDavid Faris

How Newsom ran away with the recall

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?
Elizabeth Holmes and James Mattis.
Samuel Goldman

Did Theranos Lose Afghanistan?