[ Wednesday, May 14, 2003 ]

Keeping America safe from people with the munchies

The United States should have put Tommy Chong’s face on a playing card.

You know the cards, the ones of the most wanted Iraqis. That way American citizens could know exactly how much to fear Chong and to celebrate his capture. It’s hard to tell without official verification from a deck of playing cards. Was his arrest the equivalent of a two of spades in keeping America safe or was it a nine of hearts?

Maybe Chong could have been his own separate kind of card - something like the three of green leaves.

With no such card apparently on the horizon, people might have to think for themselves on the matter without having the easy to identify playing card reference to guide them.

Here’s what happened.

On May 13 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Chong, known for his role in the marijuana-based series of Cheech and Chong comedy movies, pled guilty to drug charges. His arrest was part of a nationwide drug sweep called Operation Pipe Dreams that reached from Pittsburgh to the west coast and in which Attorney General John Ashcroft played a role.

Chong, who operated out of California but got busted for selling to a Pennsylvania front, was busted for selling drug paraphernalia over the Internet. He allegedly sold pipes and bongs through his company Nice Dreams Enterprises from September 2001 to February 2003.

By pleading guilty, Chong could avoid a possible three-year prison sentence and just receive a six-month to 12-month sentence. Yes, the same federal government that has failed to capture Osama bin Laden - the mastermind of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Saddam Hussein - a man the United States went to war against, and the unknown individual who frightened the nation by sending anthrax-laced letters to several high-profile government officials and businesses is going to put Tommy Chong in jail.

Symbolically enough, Chong, now free on his own recognizance, will be sentenced in Pittsburgh on ... you guessed it, September 11.

MSNBC story about Tommy Chong’s arrest
Dave Sutor [2:01 PM]