LOS ANGELES, June 10 (UPI) -- Canada-born Tommy Chong, half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, announced he has prostate cancer.
Chong, 74, said he first started noticing symptoms about eight years ago while in prison for selling drug paraphernalia, though he wasn't diagnosed until about one month ago, CNN reported Saturday.
He said the cancer is "a slow stage one [that I've] had for a long time."
"I've got prostate cancer, and I'm treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis," Chong said during an interview with CNN. "So [legalizing marijuana] means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested."
Chong and comedic partner Cheech Marin are best known for several films chronicling the adventures of the stoner pair. The duo first recorded comedy albums in the 1970s, and hit the big screen in 1978 with "Up in Smoke."
Chong said he hasn't smoked marijuana in about a year for health reasons, but ingests hemp oil "at night, so I won't be woozy all day."
"I'm taking it as a medicine," he said.
Cheech and Chong are on tour with a stage act, their official Web site said.