Tommy Chong Feels The Bern

By McCarton Ackerman 02/01/16

Bernie Sanders is getting two green thumbs up from Tommy Chong.

Tommy Chong
Photo via Shutterstock

The actor has released a PSA endorsing Sanders for president, declaring that he wants him to be the next “Commander in Kush.”

In the PSA unsurprisingly littered with marijuana puns, Chong compares Hillary Clinton to a wilted house plant with no energy left and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to a green plant that isn’t ready for harvesting. But he believes that Sanders “stands head and shoulders above them all...has weathered many storms and is totally ready to be the commander in chief, or the commander in kush, as I like to say. To me, Bernie seems more suited for the country.” Chong also told CNN that Sanders is “like the best kind of weed you can get because he’s the answer to all our problems.”

Although Chong is largely endorsing Sanders for his pro-marijuana views, the Democratic hopeful only recently signed legislation to decriminalize marijuana and hasn’t endorsed legalizing it at the federal level, instead vowing to let each state decide individually. He’s also relatively inexperienced with marijuana personally, admitting in June 2015 that he’d only smoked it twice in his life and that “it didn’t quite work for me.”

When it comes to celebrity endorsement, Sanders may not necessarily want Chong onboard. Even the National Cannabis Industry Association removed him from their Capitol Hill lobbying attempts in April 2015, over concerns that he endorsed stoner stereotypes.

Officials at the organizations were up in arms over a farcical YouTube video that Chong released last March, which shows him smoking pot in a car, nodding off at the wheel and using a “Tommy Chong smokeswipe” to get rid of the smell of pot on his clothes before meeting with a parole officer. NCIA executive director Aaron Smith wrote via email that “this sort of message is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to do with our efforts to legitimize the industry by showing it in a positive and responsible light.”

However, Chong took being dropped in stride. His reps downplayed any potential controversy and said that he didn’t “want to cause, or be part of, any ripples in our allied goal."

Here's the PSA:



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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.