Hippie becomes scapegoat

America’s War on Drugs that last for years now seems to be taken more and more seriously by the government. The measures against criminal ‘drug dealers’ (most of them headshop owners or people that grow cannabis plants at home) go very far. More and more time, effort and billions of dollars are put into this war. According to Desmond Davis in the Windsor Star, the aid given to the people of New Orleans is a joke.

One example is the arrestment of Tommy Chong in 2003. He is a hippie that rose to fame as one half of the pothead comedy duo Cheech and Chong. He got charged in the US and jailed for nine months for selling smoking paraphernalia. Agents confiscated thousands of bongs with his head on them, so he couldn’t deny.
This confiscation was part of Operation Pipe Dreams, where 55 people got arrested. Chong was the only one who had to spend time in prison.
Chong says this was because of his hippie persona as an actor. This apparently made him for the government a perfect scapegoat. The prosecutor cited his movies as 'glamorizing the illegal use and distribution of marijuana, and trivializing law-enforcement efforts to combat drug use.'

Chong's arrest and nine-month prison stint is now the focus of a documentary titled a/k/a Tommy Chong. It also critizes the government’s priorities. This film debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival this week.