It’s been 40 years since Pedro de Pacas (Cheech Marin) and Anthony Stoner (Tommy Chong) rode down the highway in a beat-up Chevy Impala puffing on a brick-sized joint in their 1978 comedy Up in Smoke
. In celebration of the 40th anniversary, a collector’s edition
Blu-ray/DVD will be released on Friday (4/20 — perfect timing), which includes the original soundtrack on CD and vinyl, never-before-seen photos from the movie and a set of oversized rolling papers. Hijo de la chingada!
Earlier this week, the Current
caught up with Cheech, who will be at San Antonio College on April 25 for their “Chilaquiles con Cheech”
Fiesta brunch. Below is a special portion of our interview just in time for 4/20. Stay tuned to sacurrent.com for our full talk with Cheech about the San Antonio artists represented in his Chicano art collection, which is the largest of its kind in the U.S.
Back in 1978 when you made Up in Smoke, did you ever think there would be a time when states in the U.S. were going to legalize marijuana for recreation?
I always thought that would happen eventually. I just wish it happened sooner. We’ve reached the tipping point.
Can you pinpoint when the tide changed? I mean, a recent survey shows 64 percent of Americans support legalization. That wasn’t always the case.
The support built up over the years. It’s spread across more and more generations. It’s a worldwide culture. It was always a state of being — a state of mind. Also, it has all these medicinal qualities. It goes through every single stratum of society — top to bottom, up and down, east and west, north and south, every economic stratum, every political stratum.
Do you take advantage of it in California? How are you spending your 4/20?
Sure, I take advantage of it. That’s being American. I’m staying home, getting high and playing guitar.
There have been a lot of stoner movies to come out since Up in Smoke. Are there any that you’ve liked?
The Seth Rogen ones tend to be funny. The Farrelly brothers (Dumb & Dumber, There’s Something About Mary), although they’re not classified as stoners, have a stoner sensibility. The Friday movies also crack me up.
When you think of celebrities and weed, names that come to mind are Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Seth Rogen and you and Tommy. How have you stayed in the conversation over the years?
We have two strains out there right now that are doing very well. We have Chong’s Choice
and Cheech’s Private Stash
. We keep up with all the strains all the time. That’s our guarantee for our brand that it will always be good. It won’t always be the same, but it will always be good.