Names and faces

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

Tommy Chong has a mes­sage for those fear­ing a crack­down on recre­ational mar­i­juana use: Don’t worry. Stay

High. Chong shot to fame in the 1970s along­side Cheech Marin in the stoner com­edy duo Cheech & Chong. Af­ter

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told re­porters Thurs­day that the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice “will be fur­ther look­ing into” recre­ational pot use, Chong tweeted, “Of course Trump is go­ing af­ter le­gal mar­i­juana but like the failed Mus­lim ban it will be de­feated in court. Don’t worry stay High.” Chong has a line of mar­i­juana prod­ucts on the mar­ket in states where pot sales are le­gal un­der state laws but re­main illegal un­der fed­eral law.

Rock gui­tarist Rick Der­ringer has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine af­ter step­ping off a Delta Air Lines flight from Mex­ico with a loaded hand­gun in At­lanta’s air­port. Der­ringer, 69, of Braden­ton, Fla., told a fed­eral air mar­shal that he kept his gun with him on com­mer­cial air­line flights 30 to 50 times a year, and never be­fore had a prob­lem car­ry­ing it through air­port check­points, pros­e­cu­tors said. A Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion spokesman, Mark Howell, said ear­lier that the agency in­ves­ti­gates such state­ments when it can but that there’s no way to sub­stan­ti­ate claims dat­ing back years. In 2015, some U.S. Congress mem­bers said fake weapons, ex­plo­sives and other con­tra­band went un­no­ticed in 67 out of 70 tries — about 96 per­cent of the time — at air­port se­cu­rity check­points. Der­ringer’s plea this week in­volves a sin­gle charge: car­ry­ing a Kel-Tec pis­tol on an air­plane and in a se­cure area of At­lanta’s air­port on Jan. 9. “It was just a mis­take, a sim­ple hu­man mis­take,” said Kenn Moutenot, his man­ager and the drum­mer in The Rick Der­ringer Band. Moute­nout said Fri­day that noth­ing like it will hap­pen again, “not even a water pis­tol.” Der­ringer sang the 1965 hit “Hang on Sloopy” and later recorded “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.” He has also been a writer and pro­ducer, help­ing to shape the ca­reers of artists in­clud­ing Cyndi Lau­per, Steely Dan and “Weird Al” Yankovic, and he’s not done yet, em­bark­ing on a na­tion­wide tour next month, Moutenot said.



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