Does Hippie Culture Have a Place in the New Cannabis 2.0 World?
(CLICK THE VIDEO ABOVE TO LISTEN TO STEVE’S ANSWERS)
Steve DeAngelo believes the world needs hippie culture now more than ever!
Does hippie culture stand a chance in the new cannabis 2.0 world? We brought up the question in an article recently that wondered if Tommy Chong finds it bittersweet that on one hand we praise his past characters in Cheech and Chong movies, yet on the other hand, many cannabis users will swear they are not “Cheech and Chong” and lazy stoners. The question I got to pose to Steve DeAngelo recently related to this article and whether or not Tommy Chong would have to fall on the sword with his part characters in order to have Chong’s Choice cannabis products to be able to ship across a state line, aka, full Federal legalization.
The article about Cheech and Chong pointed out that the same cannabis supporters will praise Tommy Chong and all the work he has done throughout his life for cannabis advocacy out of one side of their month, and an hour later, they will say they are not at all like the Cheech and Chong stoner stereotype. They will say they have jobs, workout, are good parents, and contributing members of society. So, is it bittersweet or how does Tommy feel that the new cannabis 2.0 culture is denying their relationship to his Cheech and Chong characters as they push harder and harder for Federal legalization?
When I got to ask Steve DeAngelo about this theory, it got interpreted by Steve, who had just given a keynote talk at CanEx Jamaica about how the world needs the hippie culture of peace and love more than ever right now, as if I was asking if hippie culture itself had to be killed off in order to get Federal legalization. Steve is a very emotional guy and believes passionately about the cannabis plant, and has done the time to prove it, no pun intended. While the answer became more emotional about hippie culture in general, the original question was just around what he thought about Tommy Chong and how Federal legalization might not happen with a Republican-led Senate until we bury the Cheech and Chong stereotype. Either way, it is a wonderful and emotional answer by Steve DeAngelo about where hippie culture fits in with the current cannabis 2.0 “we aren’t like that” rhetoric.
Take a listen. You can read his full answer below the video.
Steve DeAngelo: [crosstalk 00:00:00] I’ll give you one story that encapsulates it. Right. 1996 after the passage of Prop 215 in California four former U.S. attorney generals flew out to California, including Bill Clinton’s attorney general and they held a press conference and they called medical cannabis, Cheech and Chong medicine. Yeah, right. Okay.
So now I want to go to all of the families who have epileptic children who are not getting seizers anymore. I want to go to all the families of cancer patients whose tumors stopped growing. I want to go to all of the family members of Alzheimer’s patients whose symptoms were alleviated. I want to go to all of the sufferers of arthritis who can use their hands again. Right. Cheech and Chong medicine turns out it works pretty damn well.
So no, here’s the thing. Any fool can grow, not any fool, but anybody can grow cannabis anywhere in the world. But what we had in the counter culture and what the Rastafarians have here in Jamaica is a culture that has sat with this plant, that’s taken this seriously. It’s learned the lessons that it has to offer and have incorporated into our lives. And the values of the counter culture are values that are desperately needed in the world today. Extending tolerance, right, more respect for nature, resolving disputes more peacefully, having respect for creativity instead of conformity. These are great values. Love over hate, peace over work. These are the values that the world desperately needs now.
So no, I don’t think that Cheech and Chong have anything to be ashamed of. And their humor was forged at a time of prohibition. And under prohibition, one of the things that happened is that we were surrounded by negative images. Everybody in the world was telling us that we are irresponsible, that we were lazy, that we were dirty, that our minds were rotten. That we were depraved. And… Where was I going with that?
Speaker 2: We were depraved.
Steve DeAngelo: Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I got the depraved part, I lost the part that came before that.
Curt: So Tommy tried, Steve DeAngelo is saying [crosstalk 00:02:48].
Steve DeAngelo: No, it’s the fact that they’re humor was forged in this crucible of prohibition. Okay. And the external influences on us during prohibition were all about… If we had taken them seriously, we would have end up hating ourselves. Okay. So we had to somehow be able to laugh at it. We just had to somehow be willing to take all of this negativity and use the humor to deflect it so that we keep on going on.
And so yeah, some of the stuff that they did, reflected stereotypes that aren’t really true about cannabis consumers. Right. But we were having those stereotypes laid on us so, so heavily that the only way that we could shake them off of our back was by laughing. And Cheech and Chong gave us that. I never ever felt like Cheech and Chong were laughing at us.
Curt: Oh, no.
Steve DeAngelo: I always felt they were laughing with us. Right. So I know, I mean, people who say that we have to strip the counter culture values away from cannabis. So what, we need less love in the world today. We want less peace in the world today. We want less color and flavor and freedom and nature in the world today. I don’t think so.
Curt: I’m going to watch, Up in Smoke, I got to go.
Don’t worry, Steve still loves us!