Pot lobby fires Tommy Chong
By Oscar Pascual |
Cannabis activists are dropping their stoner act before meeting with congress.
That includes saying goodbye to Tommy Chong.
The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) recently dropped comedian and marijuana activist Tommy Chong from its lobbying push on Capitol Hill later this month, reports Politico.
In a Monday email sent to Chong’s representatives, NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith informed them of the group’s decision to not include Chong, who they believe would be particularly ineffective lobbying conservative lawmakers.
“Having Tommy out in DC for the NCIA Lobby Days will detract from the overall message we aim for with the event, which is that cannabis business people are regular professionals and relatable to the generally conservative members of Congress we are looking to appeal to,” Smith wrote. “We are here to break ‘stoner’ stereotypes rather than reinforce them.”
The decision comes as a reaction to a recent YouTube video starring Chong that advertises his latest product, Smoke Swipes. In the video, Chong parodies Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln commercials by driving to a parole officer meeting while smoking a joint. Chong then conveniently masks the odor with his new product before leaving the car.
“This was released less than a week ago and only intensifies my previous concern,” Smith wrote. “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.”
But according to Chong’s camp, he’s cool with it, man.
“We do not want to escalate this event in any manner. NCIA made a decision based on their understanding of the landscape along with their goals and objectives for the event,” a Chong spokesperson said to Politico. “We all want the same thing here and we do not want to cause, or be part of, any ripples in our allied goal.”
The NCIA — who spent $80,000 on Congressional lobbying last year — has scheduled their lobbying effort to begin April 27, giving them short time if they’re to find a better-suited celebrity advocate.
We’d like to suggest Rick Steves.
Photo credit: Wikipedia