|Cheech (left) and Chong in 1972|
Comedy legend Tommy Chong, 74, half of the iconic cannabis comedy duo Cheech & Chong, is fighting prostate cancer, he announced Saturday.
He was diagnosed “about a month ago,” Chong told CNN.
He revealed his condition in an interview about cannabis decriminalization, saying he first noticed symptoms about eight years ago while in prison for selling “drug paraphernalia” on trumped up federal charges (all he did was ship glass Chong bongs through the mail to people who had ordered them).
“I’ve got prostate cancer, and I’m treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis,” he told CNN’s Don Lemon. “So (legalizing marijuana) means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested.”
|Rolled Too Tight|
The cancer is “a slow stage one (that I’ve) had for a long time,” Chong said. The comedian said he first began having prostate-related problems during a three-year period in which he was drug-free. “So I know it had nothing to do with cannabis,” he said. “Cannabis is a cure.”
Cheech and Chong — also including his comedy partner Cheech Marin — rose to counterculture stardom in the early 1970s with a series of hit albums including their eponymous 1971 debut, 1972’s Big Bambu and 1973’s Los Cochinos. They took their act to the big screen with 1978’s Up In Smoke and follow-ups including 1980’s Next Movie, 1981’s Nice Dreams, 1982’s Things Are Tough All Over and 1983’s Still Smokin’.
After a less-than-amicable parting in 1985, the duo, after years of barely speaking, reunited for a comedy tour in 2008 and have been working together semi-steadily since then.
Chong won a whole new audience in the late 90s and early 00s, playing the character Leo on Fox’s That ’70s Show starting with Season 2.
“I figure it this way,” Chong said in 1980. “Dope’s gonna be legal in a few years. Then it’ll be a legitimate job. All the other dudes won’t be ready for it and I’ll know how to do it. Then I’ll have a job.”