Tommy Chong Fired Up Over DEA's Decision to Not Decriminalize Marijuana

Tommy Chong - Getty - H 2016
Getty Images

Tommy Chong - Getty - H 2016

"Every time you hear the next drug czar [DEA director] talk, they have the same propaganda bullshit coming out of their ears," says the comic actor and staunch marijuana advocate.

Tommy Chong is not pleased with a Thursday announcement from the Drug Enforcement Administration that the federal agency denied petitions to deschedule, or reclassify, marijuana as a less dangerous drug. It will remain Schedule I, like heroin and cocaine. 

"We just have to deschedule the DEA," Chong tells The Hollywood Reporter. "They're trying to criminalize probably the safest medicine on the planet." 

The comic actor and staunch marijuana advocate called the current federal regulation regarding pot a "racist law." The agency was established in July 1973 under the Nixon administration. "Only Nixon could come up with a plan like that," Chong adds, chuckling.

"The reason they [DEA] are doing this is because they have no power and they have no use, really," Chong says of his frustrations with the agency's view of pot. "Every time you hear the next drug czar [DEA director] talk, they have the same propaganda bullshit coming out of their ears." Chuck Rosenberg is the current head of the DEA.

Still, Chong, who is presenting his first movie event called "Doobie and a Movie Nights" next month, is confident marijuana will be made legal on the federal level in his lifetime. 

"We're going to see it legal after this election," Chong says. "The Democrats have to get in, and then we have to keep the Bernie Sanders' pressure on them." Chong was an outspoken Sanders supporter during the primary season. 

The former Democratic presidential candidate weighed in Thursday on the DEA's decision.

"People can argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but everyone knows it's not a killer drug like heroin," the Vermont senator tweeted. 

Chong even thinks there is a chance President Obama may reschedule the drug through executive order before he leaves office. 

"I wouldn't be surprised," he says.