The Pueblo West View

Actor Chong draws a crowd to celebrate marijuana legalization

It’s been history in the making for marijuana enthusiasts since the recreational use of the drug became legal here Wednesday and comedian Tommy Chong wasted no time Saturday coming up with a new twist on a historical quote to celebrate the new law.

“This is one small stagger for a stoner and one giant leap for stonerkind,” Chong said with a laugh during a visit to Marisol Therapeutics, where hundreds of his fans gathered to meet him.

Chong, half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong and proud cannabis user, said he wanted to be part of history.

“I just had a feeling that this would be a good place to be on the first few days of legalization in America . . . It’s a very historical site and I picked probably the best grower in Colorado, which would make him pretty close to being one of the top growers of the world,” Chong said, referring to Mike Stetler, owner of Marisol.

Chong said he has waited a long time for this moment.

“If there was a war on drugs, then we won. But yet the losers are still trying to call the shots,” he said.

“It makes me feel really vindicated. Everything I stood for. Everything I went to jail for. Everything I believed in and the means of my existence was all based around marijuana.”

The 74-year-old said he strongly believes that other states will soon follow Colorado with new marijuana laws.

“All they (growers) did on the first, second and third day was make money. . . There was no riots. There was no fighting. There was nothing but love and money,” Chong said.

Chong said the country has started a whole new way of life that will eventually spread throughout the world.

“Look how we make money; by growing a beautiful plant in controlled circumstances, so you can grow enough to feed the masses and then distribute it out, and with that money coming back in to help schools and help the roads and help infrastructure.”

Chong, who arrived in Pueblo on Friday, said he took a few days to get ready for the event.

“I was smoking pot in anticipation that it was going to be legal because I knew I was going to be celebrating the first day of legalization. So I got really stoned before I did, so I’d be in the right state of mind,” Chong said, with a grin.

Chong said marijuana helped him with his battle with prostate cancer two years ago.

“I took a massive dose of hash oil, put myself in a near comma for two days, and now I am as healthy as the day I was born. No cancer,” he said.

Fans packed into a tent to meet Chong, some taking “selfies” with him and others asking for autographs.

“I am very humbled by the turnout. I mean, I knew I was popular. I don’t know if it’s me or the weed, but somebody brought a lot of people here today,” Chong said.

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