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Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong fame is going to federal prison for 9 months for selling bongs over the Internet.

The government used his public persona against him at the sentacing:

...Chong had made a career of glamorizing pot-smoking and capitalized on his status in making personal appearances at head shops across the United States, where he promoted his line of bongs and pipes with his picture on them.

In addition, he advertised the paraphernalia on his company's Web site and on his personal Web site, tommychong.com. [...] Chong "used his public image to promote this crime" and marketed his products to children.

The crime, such that it is, is selling drug paraphernalia not drugs themselves. One of the ways the the government gets these kinds of guilty pleas it to make the prospect of going to trial so completely unpalatable that the defendant is practically forced to enter a guilty plea. I think in this case had Chong fought the original charges he would have been tried on a charge that had strict sentencing guidelines of 10+ years.

The bongs that were illegally sold over the Internet are legal for sale in most states in stores. Crossing state lines invokes the federal laws against bongs.

With all the trouble in world; putting 65 year old pot heads in federal prison seems sort of pointless...


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Comments (8)

I see the war on drugs has ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I see the war on drugs has been about as successful as the war on terrorism

In the words of Yakov Smirn... (Below threshold)

In the words of Yakov Smirnov: What a fucked up country! Now I'll have to use cardboard toilet paper cylinders, apples, carrots, and cut-up 2 liter Coke bottles.

Bad government! Bad! Bad!

The war on terrorism has be... (Below threshold)

The war on terrorism has been FAR more successful than the war on drugs, IMHO. Al-Qaeda hasn't been able to get to us here for over 2 years (as of today...knock wood...) Folks are still doing drugs, all the time. Or they wouldn't be trying to hook up with a bong over the net! :D

"Al-Qaeda hasn't been able ... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

"Al-Qaeda hasn't been able to get us here for over 2 years" or hasn't really tried for all we know. Where's Osama? Where's Sadaam?

"Where's Osama? Where's Sa... (Below threshold)
Xrlq:

"Where's Osama? Where's Saddam?"

How about, "not here" and "not in charge of two large countries anymore?

Comparing the real war on terrorism with the metaphorical "war" on drugs is just silly.

"Metaphorical" war on drugs... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

"Metaphorical" war on drugs? I'd like some of what you're smoking

So I wonder what it's going... (Below threshold)

So I wonder what it's going to be like for chong in jail? There's an SNL skit for you. :-D

Not really funny. I mean, p... (Below threshold)

Not really funny. I mean, puh-leeze. Nine months for selling bongs?

Let's do the moral equivalency math: That would be like sentencing gun shop owners to jail because their clients commit crimes with some of their weapons.

Ashcroft is horrible. He needs to be replaced.




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