- REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian
Tommy Chong talked legalization after marijuana in small amounts was decriminalized for personal use in Washington and Colorado. The "Cheech & Chong" actor spoke about drugs, hemp, and the possible disbanding of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Tommy Chong's legalization talk came on "The Young Turks" show, in which the actor speculated that the state governments dipping their "toe into the water" would lead to the federal government relaxing drug laws significantly.
Amendment 64 will "legalize hemp," said Chong. "It's also going to empty the jails and we're probably going to disband the DEA. Washington and Colorado, they're just the toe into the water. The whole body's following."
Chong, ever the avid marijuana advocate, also radically claimed that the substance was behind many major revolutions in art, music, and technology, like The Beatles and the late Steve Jobs' success at Apple.
"Marijuana enhances the creative ability of artists, that's well known," the 74-year-old Canadian-American said on Current.TV. "That goes all the way back to Rembrandt and Van Gogh, for instance … These are guys that are smoking pot so they could get the ideas, the creative ideas, that pot creates. We wouldn't have had The Beatles."
Despite the new laws passed in the two states, Chong's speculation about the end of the DEA could be little more than a wish.
"On Current TV, Tommy said the DEA will be disbanded. He must be high because drug enforcement is a business," wrote a Cheech and Chong fan blog. "Obama will never disband it."
There may truth to those words, as Chong ignores the fact that many drug arrests are made for other substances like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines. Regardless of the organization's overall ineffectiveness- the DEA is less than 1 percent effective at stopping drugs in the U.S., according to the White House's Office of Drug Control Policy- they are still necessary.
Chong has some personal experience with the DEA. "Operation Pipe Dreams" was conducted to bust the actor for selling drug paraphernalia, and he cut a plea deal, bringing his sentence to nine months in prison.