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RIP: 'a/k/a Tommy Chong' Director Josh Gilbert

Josh Gilbert photo courtesy of Getty Images

New York-based film director Josh Gilbert succumbed to leukemia on Saturday. He was 54.

His 2006 documentary, a/k/a Tommy Chong, chronicled the 2003 arrest of the stoner comedian/actor for interstate paraphernalia sales. Chong's company, Chong Glass, was targeted by the Justice Department under Attorney General John Ashcroft. He pled guilty and spent nine months in a federal prison.

Tommy and Shelby Chong, with Josh Gilbert in 2006. (Wired Image)

The movie screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, and eventually made its way to Showtime.

Born in Hollywood on Nov. 18, 1962, Gilbert studied at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and UC Santa Cruz. According to his Wikipedia page, he was working on a "documentary about a young autistic man named Jake, who aspires to become a professional filmmaker." It's referred to as Jake the Film at Gilbert's IMDb page.

He also produced Never Make It Home (2011), about a musician, Kirk Rundstrom, with a terminal illness; and directed The Eulogy (2014).

Gilbert was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and spent much of his last two years in the hospital, recveiving treatments and hoping for a cure. He's survived by his son, Henry.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.