In his lifetime, Tommy Chong has dealt with marijuana issues in three distinct ways. He became a Hollywood star using pot as a vehicle for comedy. He served nine months in jail for selling his signature brand of waterpipes. And now he must use marijuana as medicine to treat a serious ailment.


On June 9, the legendary pot comic told CNN’s Don Lemon that he was in “slow stage one” of prostate cancer, a condition that he has been dealing with for several years. He says symptoms first appeared following his federal prison sentence eight years ago.


He said, “I'm treating it with hemp oil, with cannabis. So [legalizing marijuana] means a lot more to me than just being able to smoke a joint without being arrested.”


He told Lemon that he was drug-free for nearly three years. But it was during this time that he began experiencing health problems. “I know it had nothing to do with cannabis,” he insisted. “Cannabis is a cure.”


Tommy, who has appeared eight times on the cover of HIGH TIMES, the most in our history, remains upbeat. We’re sending positive energy his way as well.


Here are some shots of Tommy from HT editorial director Dan Skye’s archive: 



In September ’98, Tommy served as your tour guide in our travel special.


Tommy and Jack Herer work on buds in their Christmas workshop.


Wearing the Freedom Fighter of the Year hat for the June 2000 cover.


In 2000, Tommy was introduced to a generation of new fans while co-starring in That 70s Show.    



Tommy is all business, three months before going off to prison in 2004.


Tommy performs a little bit of magic at his Hollywood home.