LOS ANGELES – It has been more than four decades since comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong lit up the world with their hilariously irreverent, stoner culture comedy.
They're back on the road, touring for sold-out crowds across the nation and doing what they do best: promoting pot.
"I am a pot leaf. I represent it, everything in my being represents pot," Chong told FOX411. "My name alone has THC in it. Every time I speak someone gets a little higher."
According to the popular personality, the state of California - despite being an estimated $780 million in debt - can thank its "big pot industry" for helping it to avoid getting hit by the 2008 recession as hard as places like Detroit, Michigan.
"It’s a multimillion dollar industry. That is what kept it afloat during the hard financial times. Legalization is a lot like gay marriage. There has always been gay people. Now, they are coming out of the closet," Chong continued. "The pot industry is coming out of the closet and the government can start collecting taxes instead of just getting their revenue from forfeitures by incarcerating people."
Recreational marijuana has been legalized in two states, Colorado and Washington. Alaska and Oregon will vote on the issue next month.
Chong remains confident that legalization will be in full effect very soon and a "non-issue in two or three years."
"It may have to wait until Obama leaves office but it will happen. It is inevitable," he insisted.
Chong is also making good use of his role as a contestant on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" as a platform for his views, although studio executives have banned him from pushing the envelope too much.
"No pot gestures or names. They had me re-do our entrance because I was doing my pot salute which was like taking a toke from a roach," he explained. "I got away with it at first but I guess they caught on now because someone politely told me not to do it."
But doing some swings and sambas has proven to be an elixir of youth for Chong. He says that while he is in pretty good shape, and credits the popular Crossfit regime for helping him, the comic insisted he is getting younger by the day.
"It's so much fun," Chong added. "I haven't regressed past 16-- that is the age I like to be at. It was before you're responsible and you're just allowed to drive. That's it."
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Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report