09/11/11 Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong interviewed at the DTN studio + Terry Nelson of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Program: 
Century of Lies
Date: 
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Guest: 
Tommy Chong
Organization: 
Comedian
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Transcript

Century of Lies / September 11, 2011

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DEAN BECKER: The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.

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DEAN BECKER: Welcome to this edition of Century of Lies. You know we’re fixin’ to celebrate 10 years of the Drug Truth Network being on the air and he truth is I’ve never had a vacation. This show is a rebroadcast of a time when Tommy Chong came in the studio of the Mothership station of the Drug Truth Network and we did the full half-hour with Mr. Chong.

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DEAN BECKER: You know week- in, week-out I get the chance to talk to judges, congressmen, scientists, doctors, lawyers, but I’ll tell you what, I’m thrilled to have, in-studio, the one, the only Mr. Tommy Chong. Welcome.

TOMMY CHONG: (inhaling deeply) Nice being here, man. (exhaling)

DEAN BECKER: Tommy, we keep bumping into each other here and there and all around the country at various conferences and such and it’s wonderful to have you here in Houston. I understand you are going to be at the Improv tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday night.

TOMMY CHONG: With my gorgeous wife.

DEAN BECKER: And you guys do a wonderful act. I got a chance to see you last time you were here. You’re going to enjoy it. It is Tommy Chong, my friends. You gotta come out and see him.

Tommy, you see a big difference, I would imagine, in the attitudes and the goings on from California coming to Texas. We got good people.

TOMMY CHONG: Oh, very good people.

DEAN BECKER: We got some bad laws, though.

TOMMY CHONG: Yeah, always have. I think Texas is probably the “home of the bad law.” There’s people…I remember years ago reading about the Mexican migrant worker doing 10 years for one joint.

DEAN BECKER: Well, close. There was a gentleman here in Houston, his name was Lee Otis Johnson, and he got busted for one or two joints and sentenced to 10 years.

TOMMY CHONG: To give you an example, that soldier that just got convicted of murder, rape and killing the family and everything – he got sentenced to 100 years but he can get paroled in 10.

DEAN BECKER: That’s such an atrocity.

TOMMY CHONG: So he’ll do probably 10 years because he’s a soldier and here you go to jail for one joint, or two joints of medicine – of an herb that grows naturally anywhere in the world and it’s used all over the world as medicine.

And the worse thing / crime about pot is they call it a “recreational drug.” The constitution is actually written to protect our right to have recreation. It outranks the freedom and pursuit of happiness.

Lou Dobbs is on TV talking about how marijuana is more dangerous now because it’s more powerful than it was during the Cheech and Chong days. I mean they actually said that and it’s ridiculous. Whenever I talk to these people I ask them, “Well that means you’ve smoked it.” And they go, “Oh no…no, no, no…I haven’t smoked it.” So then I say, “Well how in the Hell do you know what you’re talking about? You don’t know what you’re talking about then.”

DEAN BECKER: They don’t. The Drug Czar tours the country talking about…he says the same thing, “This is not your Cheech and Chong marijuana. This is industrial-strength or whatever…”

TOMMY CHONG: Like he would know! And then they don’t take in the possibilities … it’s like beer. You know you can have alcohol, 100 proof. You obviously don’t drink a 100 proof glass of liquor the same way you would drink a 4% can of beer. No, you sip it.

And it’s the same thing with pot. If you get some killer weed that could knock your socks off if you smoked a whole joint, guess what?! You don’t smoke the whole joint.

DEAN BECKER: The other day on the Lou Dobbs show they had a gentleman from some or another laboratory talking about after 20 years it seems to have some sort of affect. And if that were true folks like you and me – we’d be in the hospital or in the ground. I mean they have no legitimacy to what they’re saying.

TOMMY CHONG: They don’t. It’s more lies, more lies. I can’t wait to get on Lou Dobbs show, man. I just can’t wait. Because…look at him. He’s against Mexicans and he’s against pot so he’s a racist. It’s a racist law to begin with.

You’ve done your research and I’ll remind the listeners out there that this law was enacted in the middle of the night because and I quote excerpts from the library of congress where it said, “Marijuana tended to make black jazz musicians horny for white women.” Now, that’s true. Back in day that was against the law. But now-a-days, you know, if you look at Project Runway and you see that beautiful Heidi with her black musician husband – so it’s legal. It’s legal to mix up.

And these people, man…it’s just so annoying. But, I got to give them one thing. If it wasn’t for them - I wouldn’t have a career..

DEAN BECKER: The thing is, your career has had many high points…more than a dozen movies, I think. How many albums did you and Mr. Cheech do?

TOMMY CHONG: We did 9 albums - 8 of them were best sellers. We only did one that never really got anywhere. We did 9 albums, 6 movies – major motion pictures. That, in itself, is quite amazing.

DEAN BECKER: And what I wanted to reach for there is you’ve gone beyond that to doing the comedy shows with your wife now. You’ve tried to get into commerce. You and your son, I think, were producing the bongs, smoking instruments.

TOMMY CHONG: We sold them all over the country, yeah. They were a great product, too. And now they’re worth a lot. It was actually my son’s business. I just put my face on the bong. I went to jail for it.

In fact, it was Arlington, Texas where the DEA had cameras and they followed me around the head shop in Arlington and they used that as their evidence that the pipes we were selling weren’t just for “tobacco use only”. They were actually made to smoke marijuana. Can you imagine that?!

DEAN BECKER: And where are they stacking the bodies of the dead marijuana users? I’d like to know. I mean, that’s just…

TOMMY CHONG: Well, so far they haven’t come up with any. And I love that…remember Lou Dobbs…I just read the excerpts on the NORML thing. Lou Dobbs…no, no, Tucker Carlson asked …

DEAN BECKER: Mark Souder…

TOMMY CHONG: Yeah…asked him how many people have died from marijuana use. He won’t answer that. He said, “Well, you know, it leads to crack cocaine.”

I’ve been smoking 50 years and I’ve never, never had the urge to do heroin. I was in Vancouver, Canada, the heroin capital of the world…

DEAN BECKER: And it’s now legal there – they have injection sites to take care of the criminality of it.

TOMMY CHONG: Yes because that’s the only way they could solve that problem. I’ve known heroin users that would not touch pot. It wasn’t a gateway drug for them at all – it was the opposite. Heroin users don’t like pot and I’ll tell you why. Because what pot does to people - and this is the adverse reaction that people get – is they get paranoid and they get withdrawn and they get all freaked out.

And the reason that they are getting freaked out is that they’re having what we call in the business “an original thought.” This is their brain that is all of the sudden creating an original scenario for their life and they can’t handle that.

DEAN BECKER: It’s too new and they can’t absorb it.

TOMMY CHONG: They’ve been programmed in a certain way – the Christian Right or whatever – they’ve been programmed. Then, all of the sudden, they smoke a joint and they look around and the sunset is more beautiful and the music is clear and the water tastes fresh and the food tastes sweet. Everything is good, everything is wonderful and it freaks them out. Because they’ve been conditioned all their lives to not enjoy themselves but to … like slapping themselves with chains…Because they’re not supposed to enjoy themselves in this life and no one else is supposed to enjoy this life, you know.

If you see a guy sitting in a corner with red eyes listening to music – oh, arrest him, put him in jail because he’s a danger to society. Because, and you know what they say? “We’re unproductive.” That’s what they say.

I do a bit in my act where eventually it will be a law to be lazy and unmotivated. I do a scenario, “Mr. Chong, you have been charged with being lazy and unmotivated. How do you plea?” And I go, “Huh?” It’s such a joke the way they are doing it.

We got to see through it. You can see through Lou Dobbs. You can see through the Drug Czars and all these racist idiots. All they are doing is just promoting their demonized, right-wing, ideological, idiodacy…I can’t even talk about it.

DEAN BECKER: It’s beyond reason. It is. I like to use the phrase…they use the results from what happens from their policy as justification to continue their policy!

TOMMY CHONG: Well, they get caught in this catch-22 where they say, “Because of our ads, marijuana use has dropped incredibly. Therefore we need more money to pursue a policy that’s working so well that we don’t really need to pursue this policy.”

DEAN BECKER: Or had it gone up then they would surely need more money to go after it then.

TOMMY CHONG: That’s what they’re doing. The DEA, there’s another great organization. When I was in jail I had the privilege of being in jail with some very beautiful, smart people and I was in jail with a lawyer from Colombia, South America. His only crime was knowing stuff about the cartel and the collusion between the cartel and the DEA.

He said that he’s seen an air field in the heart of Colombia where the DEA flies in and out of. They fly out of Colombia without any checks. They don’t have to go through Customs. And the planes are loaded with “guess what?!” and lands somewhere in America because that’s the biggest dealer. Those guys are the biggest dealers in the world.

This guy knew about it and so rather than kill them as they would normally, they give him a chance to do a prison sentence and get out of the country. So he was in jail where I was, serving his time. And he had told me this and he’s a lawyer.

DEAN BECKER: It’s the international implications of this…The Iran-Contra affair, swapping drugs for guns back then. The Vietnam era, bring heroin back in the body bags.

TOMMY CHONG: Look at the Afghan…

DEAN BECKER: Ho, more heroin than the world’s ever seen…

TOMMY CHONG: And that’s on the surface – that’s just on the surface. Can you imagine what’s you don’t see?! This is surface – what everybody sees. And isn’t amazing that the war is still going? Isn’t amazing that you can’t find Bin Laden?! The countries are falling apart because it’s this chaos that allows these criminals to keep working. You can’t police under chaotic situations so that’s how these people work.

The money is so huge, you know?! You think about America – we should be in a recession with the war and everything else. We should be hurting economically but we’re not. And you know why?! Because there is a product, an agriculture product that is the number one cash crop in the world…Let’s not just talk about America – let’s talk about the world.

This cash crop is keeping everything afloat because it grows…it’s cash growing out of the ground. Not being taxed except by the DEA when they bust people with the dope and the cash. You know they don’t destroy the dope anymore. They keep both – they keep the cash and the dope.

The dope gets put on the market and the money goes to these guys. Remember we used to read about “Oh, they found a ton of pot and they burned it” ? You don’t read about that anymore, do you? But they’re still busting people.

DEAN BECKER: It’s still going somewhere.

TOMMY CHONG: I’ll tell you about a country in Palau. In the Micronesian islands there a little place called Palou that America took over during the war and it’s an American protectorate. I was there and the DEA guy wanted to meet with me because he was lonely. He was one DEA guy in that whole area – 400 islands.

What they do…The American government pays the Palau government 1 million dollars to eradicate the marijuana crops that was introduced to them by the Peace Corps. They introduced these Palauians to marijuana. So what they do is they eradicate one crop but they grow two. One crop to burn for their million bucks and one to share around and everyone gets high. It’s the most peaceful, loving country you ever been in in your life, Polow.

DEAN BECKER: And you were talking about “Where do those drugs go?” Where do they disappear to. Just last week, here in Houston, we had a guy who works at the Texas Department of Public Safety indicted for stealing some 20-something kilos of cocaine from the crime lab where he was supposed to be doing the tests. Over a number of months or years he walked off with that.

TOMMY CHONG: He got caught.

DEAN BECKER: Yeah, he got caught. They talk about bringing drugs to America, they get 5%, 10%, maybe 15 – well maybe this guy represents 5%, 10%. Or 15% of that criminality within the authority is doing.

TOMMY CHONG: Of course. You look at the Immigration Center…They’ve got Mexicans on the border collecting money. Let me tell you another one. I was just in Bali and just before we landed the captain comes on and announces, “Welcome to Balil. Just to remind you that drug offences in Bali and Indonesia are punishable by the death penalty.”

I woke up, boy, I woke up out a sound sleep, “WHAT?!” I couldn’t believe it. So then I went to check-in, you know they come in with the dogs and they’re smiling at you and they’re very nice. My sons are surfers and so they sniff the surf boards and sniff everything. We were fine, of course, I never had anything. I don’t carry anything. I don’t smoke when I’m out of the country.

So, I start investigating this and here’s how it works. The dealers pedal pot to the surfers and then they turn them in to the cops so they get paid for the pot. Then the cops take over, grab these guys, give the dope back to the dealers and the cops collect money. Then they put them in jail and go before a judge who collects money. The jail collects money because you can’t live in the jail – it’s inhumane conditions so you have to pay for your bed, your food….sometimes they’ll put 60 people in a cell that holds 2…and you sleep so crowded that when you turn over…you’re on the floor, there’s no bedding – everybody has turn over at the same time.

DEAN BECKER: That sounds like the Harris County jail to be honest with you – right here in Houston.

TOMMY CHONG: That’s the scam that got going. They keep you in jail as long as you have money. If you have money and you keep paying, they keep you in jail. Then when they let you go, listen to this, they handcuff you and you’re being deported right away. But, you have to pay the cop money to take the handcuffs off because if you show up at an airline ticket counter with handcuffs on – they won’t take you. And if they don’t take you, they send you back to jail.

DEAN BECKER: So you got to pay the cop to get the cuffs off.

TOMMY CHONG: Yeah, if you don’t, the airlines won’t take you and you’re back in jail and it starts all over again. There’s over 200 users – just surfers – from Australia right now. I drove by the prison and you can walk out of the prison. It’s almost like an open-door policy because it’s an island and you’ve got nowhere to go. You’re wearing a prison outfit and if you get caught out there - they will beat you to death.

And that’s because of America’s War on Drugs.

DEAN BECKER: It’s our great desire that all this countries have these draconian measures…like in Colombia the FARC and rebels have been fighting for 35-40 years now…3 or 4 thousand people now hacked to death in the jungle each year to control that drug trafficking. Well, and we talked about Afghanistan – an outrageous, some 3 million Afghanis now make their living growing opium.

TOMMY CHONG: Yeah, and I wonder who uses that opium?!

DEAN BECKER: It’s starting to show up more and more here in the states. I’m seeing reports of kids in junior high using this. Up in Dallas they’re talking about this stuff called Cheese – it’s half Tylenol PM and heroin – sells for 2 dollars a hit. And, of course, the kids are getting busted – their lives are getting ruined…It’s just an outrage.

TOMMY CHONG: Look at what heroin use did to Rush Limbaugh. If you want to look at the effect of drugs. There’s one guy, you know, he hasn’t said a truthful word in his whole career and he’s smack on heroin.

Look at the whole Bush administration – look at these guys. Look at Cheney – he’s a pure alcoholic. I mean anytime you get so drunk that you think your best friend’s a duck…that’s a good sign.

Look at George Bush himself…including his dad. I remember watching a debate between senior Bush and Bill Clinton and when they mentioned the War on Drugs, senior Bush cleaned off his nose…like a “coke-er” would do…it’s just an automatic thing. The only thing he didn’t do was put it on his teeth…one of those things.

This is the world we’re living in now and the good part about it, as far as I’m concerned, is that it’s “yin and yang.” You know, whatever goes up, will come down. So, if the times are bad – just wait – times are going to get good. And after they’re good for a while – they’ll get bad again. It just goes that way.

We got an election coming up and it’s going to change. But we have to keep educating people.

DEAN BECKER: Speaking of that…Cheech and Chong, you guys were two hippies having a great time in this world but the DEA kind of changed that for you a few years ago, did they not? Change you into more of an activist?

TOMMY CHONG: Yeah, totally.

DEAN BECKER: And that’s the point, you were just saying, that we have to be involved. We have to speak up. We have to say, “This is crazy! It doesn’t involved reality. It’s got to stop.”

TOMMY CHONG: The humor…with me it started with Lenny Bruce. Lenny Bruce used to say, and this was in the 50s, he says, “By the 60s pot will be legal because there is so many lawyers in law school smoking pot.” And that was in the 50s. And here we are in 2007 and the pot laws are worse than ever.

DEAN BECKER: John Walters, our Drug Czar, went up to Canada yesterday. Kind of a PR mission, as I understand it, he was very mellow. Canadian Senator, Larry Campbell, says something to the effect that it looked like he had been smoking some BC Bud because he didn’t come there with the fire and brimstone so much as the trying to pretend he’s for treatment and better ways when you know he’s just trying to smooze and trying to make Harper go ahead and throw down the mandatory-minimums and join the U.S. Drug War bandwagon.

TOMMY CHONG: Well, look at a friend of mine, Marc from Vancouver, got busted for seeds. If he gets sentenced in America, he’s looking at life in prison for selling seeds.

DEAN BECKER: I went up to visit Marc – a couple years back – and right next door to his store, with a big sign – seeds upstairs. So, they busted one but didn’t bust the one right next door. They singled him out for his activism. Marc hasn’t backed down – not one inch, not one inch.

You bring respect through humor. You bring knowledge through that humor. I’m really, as I said earlier, really proud to have you here.

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DEAN BECKER: Ah, yes…thank you Mr. Tommy Chong. Well, I hope you don’t mind that my vacation is a re-run from a show 4 and one half years ago. I want to thank Tommy Chong for his activism, once again.

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[music]

DEAN BECKER: He’s the king of the cowboys - of the terrorists, cartels and gangs.

He’s the purveyor of madness yet the masses his praises do sing.

He is our only salvation – the way and the light.

Bow down before his logic for only he knows what is right.

He’s the Drug Czar. Wages an eternal war on free will.

He knows all - the Drug Czar knows all.

He’s in charge of the truth so he tells nothing but lies.

He professes such great sorrow for the thousands of his minions who die.

He’s the Drug Czar waging his eternal war on our free will

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TERRY NELSON: This is Terry Nelson speaking on behalf of LEAP – Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. As the Drug War enters its fourth decade we continue to get the same old hyperbole about the conditions of the Drug War.

The Drug Czar’s latest ramble is about the most recent study released by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s annual Survey on Drug Use and Health. The Drug Czar tries to tie increase in cannabis to the legalized medical use of cannabis. He has to really stretch the truth on this one. But this is pretty typical of what one does when one wants to tell the truth without really telling the truth.

He uses clips of the report to support his agency’s position while ignoring the part that disputes his selected finding. I have found that civil servants who are at task to deliver unpleasant or unpopular information try their best to please the boss but do not want to lie outright that will come back to haunt them when the trials start.

According to Megan Fox, a Communications Director for Marijuana Policy Project, the report shows that passed months marijuana use for 12-17-year-olds has stayed the same for males and only increased by .1 % in the past year for females. In addition, this report and other available data clearly show that in the majority of medical marijuana states, teen use rates actually decreased since the implementation of medical marijuana programs.

SAMSHA administrator Pamela Hyde when questioned as to why alcohol use rates had dropped so much more than other drugs stated that a more comprehensive program of education and early intervention had been employed to combat alcohol abuse and that such programs had not been embraced for other drug use.

Moments later Marijuana Policy Project Director of Government Relations, Steve Fox, asked the Drug Czar if such a program of regulation and education would be better than the current system of prohibition of marijuana. The Drug Czar replied that regulation of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs has not worked so regulation of marijuana could not be expected to work either.

Boy, it must cause some anxiety in the Drug Czar to make statements like this just to support a policy, a politically motivated, bad public policy that has failed completely. I cannot understand why this drug war continues. There’s no real science to support its continuance. I understand that for our National Security interest we want and need to have influence in foreign countries and that the billions of drug war dollars flowing into these countries does give us some influence.

Would that influence be greater by helping them help themselves to grow and prosper rather than supporting a policy that is a death warrant for tens of thousands of people every year? A policy of education and treatment is a preferable policy to preventing drug abuse.

This is Terry Nelson of LEAP, http://www. leap.cc , signing off – stay safe.

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DEAN BECKER: I want to thank Terry for that report and I want to thank you for listening through these 10 years. Do invite someone from LEAP to speak to your organization and, as always, I remind you there’s on truth, justice, logic, no reason for this drug war to exist. Please visit our website http://endprohibition.org. Prohibido istac evilesco!

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For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

Transcript provided by: Jo-D Harrison of www.DrugSense.org