Stoner icon Tommy Chong said Wednesday that he believed others states would follow the example of Colorado and Washington by legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
During an appearance on The Young Turks, Chong was optimistic that industrial hemp would soon be legalized and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) would be abolished. He described Colorado and Washington as the "toe into the water."
"The whole body is following," Chong remarked.
The marijuana activist and comedian said he thought Obama would allow Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana without federal interference. He added that the Obama administration could prevent a clash between federal and state law simply by re-classifying marijuana at the federal level. Currently, the DEA classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug, the most restrictive category reserved for addictive drugs with no medical value.
The Young Turks Cenk Uygur noted that the Obama administration had cracked down on medical marijuana dispensaries in states like California, where it was legal.
"But he is also a black guy from Hawaii that used to surf," Chong responded.
Sandra Hagen Solin of Capitol Solutions said businesses in Colorado were worried about being subjected to wrongful termination lawsuits if they fired an employee who came to work stoned. But Chong dismissed those concerns, noting that tech pioneers like Paul Allen and Steve Jobs had smoked pot.
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