Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 30, 2013

Cheech and Chong back in the act, playing Riviera show

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — As crazy as that may sound to some people, there has been a wealth of scientific research touting the many benefits of hemp. Of late, hemp has seen increased use in nutrition and for medicinal purposes. Chong took hemp oil when he was battling prostate cancer, and while he would not go as far as to give the hemp oil full credit for being cancer free, he said, “it certainly didn’t hurt.”

“Hemp is more than just a couple of guys getting high and giggling at each other, it has some serious applications,” Chong noted.

Chong’s career has not been without its controversies. He spent nine months in jail for distributing bongs over the internet when he was caught up in a multi-million dollar sting operation called Operation Pipe Dreams Most observers felt Chong was targeted because of his celebrity status, and law enforcement officials used questionable tactics to secure an arrest.

Tommy’s wife, Shelby Chong uses the arrest as fodder for some of her opening set. I asked Tommy how long it took him to be able to make jokes about his arrest and imprisonment.

“I had a big going into jail party in Grand Rapids Mich., where they presented me a cake with a file in it, that was pretty funny.”

Chong didn’t take his sentence lightly. For three years he was drug tested and never tested positive.

In recent years, Chong continues to hone his live act with Cheech Marin, who he affectionately calls his “brother.”

“It’s been a challenge because we have had to update some of the material but Cheech and I are really on the same wavelength. It’s also exciting because we have incorporated a lot more music into the show.”

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