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Cheech and Chong dress down at wonky Marijuana Policy Project gala

Comedians Richard "Cheech" Marin, right, and Tommy Chong attend Wednesday's Marijuana Policy Project gala at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. (Ben Droz)

You didn't really expect to get a contact high at the Marijuana Policy Project dinner, did you?

If you wandered over to the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill on Wednesday night expecting a sweet, smoky haze with a bunch of stoners -- well, we're not in Berkeley anymore, Toto. MPP's 15th-anniversary gala was as sober and earnest as any other wonky Washington dinner: lots of serious young crusaders in suits, a few aging founders from the movement and the requisite celebrity honorees -- in this case, Cheech and Chong.

Marijuana has been very, very good for Richard "Cheech" Marin, 63, and Tommy Chong, 71, who got rich and famous making jokes about the drug. The two comedians, launching their Get It Legal Tour in March, are still outspoken advocates for legalization.

Chong, who served nine months in prison on drug charges, said he smokes for a prostate problem: "I don't flaunt it. I treat like a medicine." Cheech told us he doesn't use it now but thinks it should be legal for everyday recreational use.

And they still like to needle conservatives. The duo told the audience about their recent appearance on Bill O'Reilly's show, when they asked the host if he had ever tried marijuana.

"I've never smoked pot!" O'Reilly told them.

"So that's why you're so angry," Chong replied -- but said the exchange was cut from the show.

The rest of the fundraiser was a wonky celebration of medical marijuana and the growing movement to treat the drug more like alcohol. "Let's tax it, let's regulate it, let's control it," former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson told the crowd, to wild applause. Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen praised the Obama administration's "sane" policy of not prosecuting medical users in the 13 states where it's legal -- while admitting it's still a hard sell in Congress: "Most of my colleagues didn't want to be here and aren't here. Maybe that says something about my political judgment."

By The Reliable Source  |  January 15, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
Categories:  Parties  
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I'm always amused when people use Cheech and Chong as examples of typical loser, amotivational stoners. Multimillionaires both of them.

Posted by: bpayne2 | January 15, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: silviamtez | January 15, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a major sex scandal broke at the Marijuana Policy Project the very next day...

Both the Washington Examiner and High Times Magazine are reporting on the lack of oversight by the board of directors, secret payouts to employees, etc...\

MPP's major funder Peter Lewis should crawl into a hole with embarrassment!

Posted by: Jan4Hemp | January 15, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

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