Cheech And Chong actor Tommy Chong has been jailed for nine months after being found guilty of selling drug paraphernalia on the internet by a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania court.

The 65-year-old, who was also fined $20,000 (GBP12,500), set up a business called NICE DREAMS in 2001, which made $1.6 million (GBP1 million) before he was arrested in a police swoop named Operation Pipe Dreams, which targeted sellers on drug paraphernalia.

Canadian-born Chong, who has appeared as a comedic cannabis smoking character in a string of films with Cheech Marin, asked the judge for leniency, after claiming he was overcoming a marijuana 'problem' by turning to other hobbies such as salsa dancing - a practice he has embraced in recent years.

The star, who recently announced plans to make the first Cheech and Chong film since 1984, also stated that he was now trying to educate youngsters about the dangers of marijuana.

However, the judge ordered Chong to forfeit $103,000 (GBP64,375) in sales proceeds and abandon his website domain names, in addition to the prison sentence and fine.

12/09/2003 13:30