Cheech & Chong: Still Rollin’—Celebrating 40 Years Of Up in Smoke Opening On 4/20

CALIFORNIA: Grammy-winning comedy duo Cheech & Chong will be the subject of a new exhibit opening at the GRAMMY Museum® on 4/20. Titled Cheech & Chong: Still Rollin’—Celebrating 40 Years Of Up In Smoke, the exhibit is curated in collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Lou Adler, who uncovered the legendary duo, produced many of their albums, and directed the film.

On display through spring 2019, the exhibit explores what made the world fall in love with East L.A. native Richard “Cheech” Marin and Canadian Tommy Chong, while chronicling the development and success of their first feature-length film, Up In Smoke. Items on display will include the original marked-up script from Up In Smoke, the master tape for the soundtrack album, comedy sketches, an assortment of limited-edition 40th anniversary smoking devices, and selections from Marin’s “Blazing Chicano Guitars” guitar-art collection, among other items.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIpfWFUfJV8&w=560&h=315]

As the first strictly counterculture comics, Cheech & Chong helped change the dialogue, and ultimately attitudes, about marijuana use. As recording artists, they utilized the studio much like musicians do—a place to improvise and experiment as they turned their comedy routines into full-length albums. They released an eponymous LP in 1971 featuring studio sketches including “Dave,” “Cruisin’ With Pedro De Pacas,” and “Trippin’ In Court.” The album’s 1972 follow-up, Big Bambú, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album. The following year’s Grammy-winning Los Cochinos also charted at No. 2 and included the novelty hit “Basketball Jones.” These albums, and those that followed, served as a template for future comedy albums and stoner films.

“Cheech & Chong are arguably the quintessential comedy duo of the hippie generation,” said Scott Goldman, Grammy Museum Executive Director. “Individually, they’ve achieved great success, with Cheech becoming one of the most well-known and respected Chicano entertainers, and Tommy making his mark as an actor, writer, musician, and cannabis rights activist. Together, they became a voice for the counterculture, and to this day their hit film, Up In Smoke, is considered one of the best comedies of all time.”

Apple “WeedWatch” Ad To Be Featured In Marijuana Green Pages

WASHINGTON – A clever parody ad showcasing Apple’s canna-friendly chronometer, iWatch,  has taken out a full page ad in the upcoming Marijuana Green Pages business directory.  Seattle-based multi-media company Higher Ground released the “WeedWatch” ad to coincide with the April 20th pot holiday, “4/20”, and the release of the Apple Watch on April 24th.

The ad, featuring a photo of the iWatch with the simple text, “Time for a Change: Legalize It” will appear in a Premium Position of the Marijuana Green Pages in the Wearable Technology section.

“The Apple Watch is a revolutionary product, and the legalization of marijuana in States across the country is also a revolutionary movement,”notes Higher Ground Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Stusser. “The message of our parody is as simple as the solution to the War on Drugs: Legalize It.  It’s time to end Prohibition, and legalize, regulate and tax cannabis at the federal level. I can think of no better place to showcase this powerful message than as a full page ad in  a premium position in the Marijuana Green Pages, the most authoritative business directory of legal cannabis businesses ever created. The Weed Watch just had to be represented.”

One of the most innovative features of Apple’s Watch is the ability for users to customize the face of the device, and add additional information. In Higher Ground’s parody, they have taken the liberty to do just that! The watch face is full of humorous and advocacy-related apps including NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), SXSW, Leafly (a Yelp-like mobile app for marijuana), 7-11, Cannabis News Network, and Doritos. The time? 4:20.

Based out of Seattle, where recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012, Higher Ground is attempting to “Elevate the Dialogue”and broaden the movement nationally. While legal in Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon, the use, sale or distribution of cannabis is still a felony at the federal level, and over 600,000 Americans are arrested every year for marijuana-related offenses.

The launch of the Apple Watch continues to garner significant media coverage, as it is the first new product device from Apple since CEO Tim Cook took over the company. PreOrders for the iWatch began on April 10th, selling over a million units, and will begin shipping on April 24th. Using guerilla-style marketing, In addition to the Marijuana Green Pages, Higher Ground’s WeedWatch campaign will appear on posters, leaflets and mobile billboards adjacent to Apple stores nationwide.

ABOUT HIGHER GROUND

Higher Ground produces the world’s first satirical news program about the legalization movement, along with a newspaper column and website. A multi-media company, Higher Ground creates highly-produced video assets including a flagship program (a mix between The Daily Show and CNN, just without that annoying Wolfe Blitzer fellow), a syndicated column on the legalization movement, a comprehensive and entertaining news website, events (Cooking with Cannabis!), along with viral social-media parodies.

Higher Ground has created a variety of videos and parodies that attempt to vaporize stoner-cliches (including a ReMix of Cheech & Chong’s iconic “Up in Smoke”), while also educating the public on the changing landscape of legalization. Along with their YouTube videos, the company has repurposed posters from the Reefer Madness era with an Original Artists Series, updated MadMen (whose characters smoke from vaporizers instead of cancer-sticks), and even crafted a Seattle Seahawks logo entirely out of marijuana in honor of the Beast Mode strain (named after running back Marshawn Lynch). Stusser’s Higher Ground column also runs in the Seattle Weekly.

For more information, contact Michael Stusser at michael@michaelstusser.com

 

Pot Lobby Turns Its Back On ‘Cheech & Chong’

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The marijuana lobby is tired of the “Cheech & Chong” stoner jokes and wants to be taken seriously in Congress.

That’s why the National Cannabis Industry Association dropped actor and marijuana activist Tommy Chong from its Capitol Hill lobbying push slated for the end of April. According to an internal email obtained by POLITICO, the cannabis industry wants to move past the stoner stereotypes embodied by Chong as it tries to remake itself as a serious and respectable segment of the economy.

In a Monday email sent to Chong’s representatives and allies, NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith said that after deliberations and feedback from “allied members of Congress,” the group decided Chong is not the best representative in stodgy Washington, particularly when it comes to lobbying right-of-center 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.”

 

 

Hmm..Did You Know Shifts Perceptions With Rich Media Cannabis Portal

WASHINGTON: Marijuana marketing is coming of age now that legalization is growing both the need and the branding budgets of the cannabis industry’s first crop of pot products.

Cannabis media too is evolving – moving beyond the stereotypical High Times and Cheech & Chong 1970’s sensibility into the modern era of integrated digital marketing.   Meeting the growing need for reliable information — about the laws, the culture, the science and the new cannabis brands —  New York filmmaker Kerri Accardi and her 420MEDIA agency are rolling out a new platform called “Hmm did you know?”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQj0vNGrWXg&w=560&h=315]

In an exclusive interview with MJ News Network, Accardi explains that HDYK will be a visually-inspired rich media web destination designed to serve as a comprehensive source of information, education, and entertainment about cannabis and hemp.   “We are creating an online platform featuring professionally-produced series, commercials, digital media, and integrated marketing. HDYK is a place to see faces of the cannabis industry.”

Accardi came to the industry first as an activist, pursuing a passionate drive to raise the awareness of medical marijuana.  Through project work with several leading dispensaries and an assignment shooting last summer’s Seattle Hempfest,  she developed strong personal connections with pioneers and industry leaders, many of whom have agreed to participate in HDYK, including Hempfest’s Vivian McPeak, CCSE’s John Davis and MJBA’s David Rheins.

“The idea manifested when my Aunt Kathy was sick and I was trying to convince my family that cannabis was medicine,” the Staten Island native told MJNN. “There was no where for to me to show them other than scattered websites that were far and few between.  Grateful and beyond humbled I’m now aligned with pioneers and industry leaders to share education and information on a global level through visual entertainment and media.”

The multi-media platform will focus initial content offerings in five key channels: Healing, Science, Business, Hemp and Organic Growing, with an emphasis on programming that shifts public perceptions shaped by years of propaganda. “HDYK will shift consciousness and change the way people perceive our miracle plant, ” she said. “It will give the industry a place to share their products and information while providing the knowledge to those seeking.”

Advertising opportunities begin as low as $1000, and scale all the way up  $50K primary sponsorship packages.

For more information about getting involved with Hmm Did You Know? Email info@420MEDIA.us; or call (425) 420-0585

Tommy Chong Comes To Seattle, Talks Cannabis, Culture, Comedy

WASHINGTON: Tommy Chong was in the Emerald City today (1/9/15) to attend the Washington Cannabis Summit. While in town, the legendary comedian/activist held a press conference to talk to the local marijuana press about the virtues of cannabis.

MJ Headline News, asks Tommy why he was in town. What follows is a 20 minute monologue on all things marijuana. Enjoy!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-CEK9p57sY&w=420&h=315]

Smoke Swipes: Highlights From My Interview With Tommy Chong

By David Rheins

I had the pleasure of speaking to cannabis icon Tommy Chong about his latest brand endorsement — Tommy Chong’s Smoke Swipe, how the world has come around to his way of thinking, and his dream getting everyone in America — and the world — stoned.

Q: Good morning Tommy Chong.  First of all, thank you for speaking to MJ News Network this morning.  We’re huge fans of yours from way back. Speaking of which, you started out as a counterculture cannabis clown, and are now one of the most respected and widely quoted voices of legal pot.  How did that happen?

A: Well, I was always on the right track, and it was just a matter of everybody finally caught up with me.

Q: There was a little more than that. You went up the entertainment ladder of success – winning Grammy’s and having successful films — and then you had an encounter with the law that got you more politicized. Or were you always politicized?

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A: No, they forced me into that role. I was very happy just being the stoner. They gave me a choice, I could go to jail, or watch my son go to jail for selling bongs, which was legal where we were, and only illegal because of Federal law and the paraphernalia law in Pennsylvania. That act alone, politicized me totally.  I became what they wanted me to become or what they thought I was.

Q: That action ricocheted, and the culture caught up, and now what was once counterculture is now mainstream commercial culture.  That brings us back to why we’re having this conversation.  The Tommy Chong name has become a well-known brand; you’ve associated yourself with a number of commercial products, dispensaries, causes, and politicians — how do you decide what products are right for the Tommy Chong brand?

A: We’re using the shotgun effect. We’re taking on everything. And if it floats, if it catches the public eye, then we won. But if it doesn’t, it is just hit and miss.  It’s just like doing a music album, you don’t which song is going to be the hit, until you finish everything. And it is usually the one that you hated the most.

And in this business, it is almost the same thing. You can have some pet projects, but sometimes the simplest one will hit everybody’s imagination and that is the way it has been with this. The weird thing about this business is that there is no downside for me.  I like pipes, I like papers, I like bongs, every day is like Christmas for me in this business.

Q: I love it. It is interesting that you bring up Christmas, because MJBA is hosting the first ever “Cannabis Xmas Bazaar on December 6th at Seattle’s Magical Butter Studios.  And we’ll be showcasing products like Tommy Chong’s Smoke Swipe — part of a whole commercial suite of products and gift items that will be available to cannabis consumers this holiday season.

Q: Why did you decide to create Tommy Chong Smoke Swipes?

A: It was created by some business guys that had a problem: they’d go to do their 4:20 smoke and come back into the office and everybody knew what they’d been doing.  And they realized that their was no product out there that would wipe the smoke off their clothes, and so they developed this swipe.

Later they found out it worked great on tobacco smoke, cigar smoke and other smells like dog smells and so the product really has multi-use besides just making sure that your mother or your grandmother…that you’re not reeking when you come in for Thanksgiving dinner.

Q: Culturally, when the country seems to be going legal. We’ve got now not only Washington and Colorado, but with the recent elections Alaska and Oregon, and the District of Columbia, and cities in Maine and Michigan and throughout the country are moving legal. Why do you think we need something that is going to inhibit pot smoke? It reminds me of the old “Smirnoff leaves you breathless” campaign. You know when we were still feeling the after effects of prohibition.

A: The thing is, it is a smell. And not everybody enjoys that smell. And it also puts you in a category — you know, pothead category. So there are a lot of businessmen types — on Wall Street especially — they smoke up regularly. Or policeman, doctors, lawyers — I know judges who smoke — and they have to go to great lengths to protect their image. It is for professional people who cannot afford to have that pothead image.

Q: Does that mean we won’t be seeing a Tommy Chong line of Cannabis fragrances for those of us who enjoy the smell of sativa in the morning?

A: No, not really. Although I tell you, that is a good market. I could see a woman’s perfume, or especially a man’s cologne.

Q: We could call it ‘Dank Love’

A: Yeah, it is an aphrodisiac. Remember in the movie Annie Hall, she could only make love to Woody if she was high? So the smell, just like the word — when you talk about pot their is a body memory that kicks in — and all of the sudden you can recreate your stoner moment. That would be a good product to look into.

Q: MJNN reaches an audience of cannabis business folks.  I run the Marijuana Business Association. If one of our members had a business idea for a Tommy Chong product, how would they contact you, and would you be interested in that?

A: Yes, they can reach me at my web site, on Facebook, or via my Instagram and twitter @TommyChong. So there are lots of ways to get a hold of me.

Q: I remember seeing an old Dylan documentary where Bob was bemoaning the fact that everyone he met wanted to get Bob stoned. And I think, gosh, if that was Bob Dylan’s problem in the 60s, I can only imagine what it your life is like. What’s it like to be Tommy Chong where obviously everyone you meet wants to get high with you?

A: It’s great. When I was on Dancing with the Stars just recently, I made a promise that if won the mirror ball, I was going get everybody in America high. Well, I got eliminated in the semi finals, so I made a statement on the web site that I am going to keep my promise. I’m going to smoke with everybody in America, that’s my goal. And when I do that, I’m going to smoke with everybody in the world.

Q: Well, we love that and are going to help you achieve your goal. MJNN reaches hundreds of thousands of folks and I’d love to see if we could do a live synch up from our Hot Pot Products for the HIGH Holiday celebration in Seattle, and have you get high with folks all over America, and we’ll broadcast it via the internet and all our various channels.

A: Well, what we can do is have a national day of getting high.  I was going to do a national day of “OMing” so we can tie it together with that.

Q: Marijuana and meditation?

A: Well, there are a lot of people who don’t like to get high — for one reason or another. So while we are getting high, they can “OM.”

Q: Yes, that’s right. They can meditate for us.

A: So, let’s do that.

Q: OK. I will follow up with that. Anything else you like to share with our readers?

A: Yes, we have a new strain, the first official Tommy Chong strain, called ‘Chong Star’ at Marisol Gardens in Pueblo Colorado. That is where it is grown and manufactured. And we are going to be offering it to all the dispensaries in Colorado, and eventually around the world. It is the strain that I want to get everybody high on.

Q: Thank you again for everything you’ve done. You’ve been an inspiration to me personally since the 70s. It is just amazing how you have not only been the voice of counterculture, but now have helped to make that voice mainstream, and all along with humor and entertainment. It reminds me of John Lennon’s approach: make them laugh, and make them fucking think about it. And you are changing the world, and we thank you for what you are doing.”

A: OK. Well, let’s stay together, and let’s do it together!

Listen to David Rheins’ full interview with Tommy Chong here: