06/11/2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
Comic Tommy Chong has some serious news, he revealed over the weekend.
"I've got prostate cancer
, and I'm treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis," Chong, one half of the '70s pothead comic duo of Cheech and Chong, told CNN
's Don Lemon on Saturday.
Having been officially diagnosed "about a month ago" with "slow stage-one [cancer that I've] had for a long time," the 74-year-old said he first noticed symptoms about eight years ago, while he was behind bars for selling drug paraphernalia. During that period, he was drug-free for three years, he said.
"So I know it had nothing to do with cannabis," he said. "Cannabis is a cure." He also made the point that legalizing marijuana "means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested."
Chong went on to say he no longer smokes marijuana, having quit about a year ago "for health reasons." Because he's not using it to fight his cancer, he says he is ingesting hemp oil "at night, so I won't be woozy all day."
"I'm taking it as a medicine," he explained.