Newsbrief: Tommy Chong Sentenced to Nine Months on Bong Charges 9/12/03

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Back in February, Attorney General John Ashcroft's Justice Department took a break from its ongoing "war on terror" to crack down on that other insidious threat facing the nation: bong makers. DEA agents swooped down on head shops and bong makers across the country, arresting 55 people, including comedian Tommy Chong. Best known as half of the 1970s pot comedy team Cheech & Chong, in recent years Chong had turned his interest to his pipe manufacturing company, Nice Dreams.

Chong pleaded guilty in May to selling bongs over the Internet -- the first guilty plea resulting from "Operation Pipedream" -- and on Thursday he was sentenced to nine months in federal prison and fined $20,000. Federal officials also seized about $100,000 from him. His company awaited sentencing later Thursday. Under federal law, it can be put on probation or face other sanctions.

While a federal judge deemed Chong a serious enough threat to send him to prison, the 65-year-old is allowed to remain free until federal prison officials tell him when and where to report. Chong's acting career recently revived with a recurring role in the pot-filled "That '70s Show." Bet he wishes he was still back in that happy-go-lucky decade.

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Issue #302, 9/12/03 Oops! -- "Killer Ecstasy" Study Retracted, NIDA Credibility on the Line, RAVE Act Still Law | Marijuana as Budget Saver? Study Looks at Implications of Legalization in Massachusetts | Current Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, Plan Colombia, HEA, Ashcroft's Attack on Judicial Discretion | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Newsbrief: Human Rights Watch Calls California's Anti-Syringe Laws a Violation of Human Rights, Details Police Harassment of Exchanges | Arianna Huffington Speaks at UC Berkeley SSDP-Volunteer-Organized Event | Newsbrief: Tommy Chong Sentenced to Nine Months on Bong Charges | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: West Africa Drug War -- Business As Usual, Except for the Lizards | Newsbrief: Canadian Cities Federation Stays Firm in Support of Cannabis Decrim | Newsbrief: New Mexico Church Wins Ruling in Ayahuasca Case | Newsbrief: Pakistani Prison Officials Call for Different Treatment of Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Dutch Government Seeks to Ban Cops from Enjoying Coffee Shops | Newsbrief: Connecticut Democrats to Propose Sentencing Reforms | The Reformer's Calendar
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