International Cannabis Business Conference

NCIA vs. Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong sits on the hood of a 1959 Jaguar Mark IX.

According to Politico, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) decided that Tommy Chong's participation in their Capitol Hill Lobby Days on Apr. 28-30 would be a distraction.

Chong was begin considered to join the group, but that changed when a YouTube video in which Chong promotes the product Smoke Swipes in a send-up of the Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln Continental ads was released on Mar. 24. It features Chong smoking a joint as he drives. Watch the videohere.

“This sort of message is exactly the opposite of what we're trying to do with our efforts to legitimize the industry by showing it in a positive and responsible light," said NCIA's humorless executive director Aaron Smith.

Chong tells CelebStoner:

'Well, thank God somebody woke up and realized who I am. I don't blame them at all, in fact I thank them for saving me from a trip to hell. I would be talking over their heads anyway, so it's a win-win all the way around.'

Update: A year later NCIA deputy director Taylor attempted to clarify what really happened, telling CelebStoner:

"NCIA didn’t actually disinvite Chong from our D.C. event last year. The possibility of Tommy Chong joining in on NCIA’s Lobby Days was raised by one of our members, but after discussing it internally and with allies, we decided that a celebrity presence would ultimately distract from the overall mission."

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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