Tommy Chong, best known as the second half of the marijuana-loving "Cheech and Chong" comedy duo, is diagnosed with prostate cancer, CNN reports.
Although he first noticed symptoms about eight years ago while incarcerated for selling drug paraphernalia, Chong said he was diagnosed "about a month ago." He revealed his condition in an interview with CNN while discussing his support for decriminalizing marijuana use and sales.
"I've got prostate cancer, and I'm treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis," he said. "So (legalizing marijuana) means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested."
Chong described the cancer "as a slow stage one (that I've) had for a long time." He says he was drug free for about three years when he began to have prostate-related problems.
"So I know it had nothing to do with cannabis," he said. "Cannabis is a cure."
He and his on-screen partner Cheech Martin became popular in the early 1970s when they recorded a series of lucrative comedy albums. In 1978, they made their big screen debut with "Up in Smoke" before making more "Cheech and Chong" films chronicling the stoner pair's misadventures. The two will continue to tour as a comedic act with shows scheduled for late June and the fall, according to their official website.
Chong, 74, said he quit smoking marijuana about a year ago "for health reasons," to battle his prostate cancer. Chong explained to CNN that he now ingests hemp oil "at night, so I won't be woozy all day."
"I'm taking it as a medicine," he said.