“As stoners, we control the vibe of the world. It’s not by accident that stoners find the most beautiful places in the world to have their meetings,” he said, gesturing out toward Ashland. “If you control your own vibe, you control other people’s vibe. The more people who get stoned, the more love spreads. Love is healing.” Tommy Chong
No one denies that Oregon Marijuana is a growing business. So it wasn’t a surprise that the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Ashland, drew hundreds of people across state lines.
Voters approving recreational marijuana use in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine, and medical marijuana in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas in the Nov. 8 election has ramped up interest in growing and selling pot.
Recreational marijuana use was already legal in Oregon, as well as Washington, Colorado, Alaska and the District of Columbia. Voter response has put added pressure on federal authorities to ease longstanding rules that classify marijuana as a dangerously addictive drug with no medical benefits.
Law enforcement groups, anti-drug crusaders and other opponents say legalization would endanger children and open the door to another huge industry that, like big tobacco, would be devoted to selling Americans an unhealthy drug, reported the Associated Press.
Still, according to national polls, a solid majority of Americans support legalization.
The Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, at the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites near the Interstate-5 off ramp, had speakers like Tommy Chong, part of the stoner-themed comic duo Cheech & Chong, and vendors selling water systems to real estate.
Chong tried to reassure cannabis advocates by speculating that Trump’s appointees, even climate-change deniers and U.S. attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), who thinks “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” will have an “intellectual change” if educated.
“It’s only ignorance that makes people think one way,” Chong said. “But these people no longer have to worry about getting elected and they now work for the government. They will have to become the most learned people” in their field.
Chong said he was never a Trump supporter. A cancer survivor, he says he named his colostomy bag “Donald” because of what it’s full of.
Yet he’s hopeful that the New York businessman-turned-politician will not turn his back on the profit to be made in marijuana. “Colorado’s biggest problem is figuring out what to do with all the money they’re making from pot,” Chong said.
He joked that Trump wanting his family to serve with him was “hippie.”