The American promoter of Kiwi heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker has talked up the virtues of cannabis, stating it's good for you.

Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank Boxing, is set to turn 86 this week and has been a boxing promoter for more than 50 years.

He credits marijuana as his secret to longevity.

"The question is, if they gave me a Wada [World Anti-Doping Agency] test, would I pass it?" Arum told CBS Sports.

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"I don't take performance-enhancing drugs, I mean, but I come from Nevada. So it's legal now and I have a puff every now and then. I plead guilty to that. Other than that, I keep my body in pretty good shape.

"I started [using marijuana] in 1966. Kids, young kids shouldn't do it because your brain is being formulated. But in 1966, I was in my 30s and I started.

"I don't do it at work, I do it for recreation. It's good for you, it's good for you. Cannabis is good for you!

"It's these damn people during the Nixon administration that really put cannabis into the position where it was a drug like heroin and cocaine and that was wrong. Now I think people in states like Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and soon California, people will be able to go into places and buy it legally like I do in Nevada."