Tommy Chong is battling prostate cancer, he announced on CNN.
Chong, one-half of the Cheech and Chong duo, told Don Lemon that he was diagnosed about a month ago, but he's had the cancer — a "slow Stage 1" — for "a long time." The 74-year-old has been treating it with hemp oil and revealed his diagnosis to support the decriminalization of marijuana use and sales.
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"I've got prostate cancer, and I'm treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis," Chong said. "So [legalizing marijuana] means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested."
Chong first noticed symptoms eight years ago when he was jailed for selling drug paraphernalia. He said he started having prostate-related problems when he was drug-free for three years. "So I know it had nothing to do with cannabis," he said. "Cannabis is a cure."
Chong, however, specified that he does not smoke marijuana to treat his cancer, but rather ingests the hemp oil "at night, so I won't be woozy all day." "I'm taking it as a medicine," he said.