Tommy Chong at CannaCon

Entertainer, entrepreneur and cannabis celebrity Tommy Chong appeared this week at the opening of Seattle’s CannaCon, billed as the nation’s largest marijuana-related trade and seminar show.

With a message more hymn than manifesto, Chong held a brief news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the medical and social benefits of pot, to promote the value of drinking water and to relate his own experiences both in show business and prison.

He also came to promote a series of cannabis-related products that bear his name, including a hemp-infused beverage, a vaporizer, a marijuana grinder and “smoke swipes” that can remove the reeks and fumes of marijuana from clothing and other surfaces.

Chong began a brief presentation to media and fans by explaining that he was arrested in 2003 and spent nine months in prison for promoting and transporting a line of bongs.

Now, as then, he said the government used a “racist...

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