Banned in the 916

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@

The city of Sacramento says I can’t grow medicinal marijuana outdoors anymore? What gives?

—Outdoor Moore

Yeah. Cities and counties banning outdoor growing is all the rage these days. Fresno, Placerville, Roseville and now Sacramento are just a few. Lawmakers claim they need to regulate outdoor grows in order to cut down on complaints from neighbors and reduce the threat of violent crime caused by garden robbers. Medical-cannabis patients argue that cities are contravening state law (which allows growing) and imposing an undue burden on financially disadvantaged patients by forcing them to buy expensive indoor-growing equipment.

So, what gives? Good question. First of all, different cities have different regulations. Fresno’s ban is a nightmare, and that city is already facing a lawsuit. The Sacramento ban is fairly reasonable and was endorsed by both the California branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Emerald Growers Association. It’s not a total ban on outdoor growing; you can build a greenhouse.

I asked James Anthony, cannabis-zoning-law expert extraordinaire, about the Sacramento ban. He said: “Hey look, it’s a transitional phase. This ordinance is reasonable. I wouldn’t recommend this in rural or agricultural areas, but in an urban area there has to be some regulation. If tomatoes were worth $2,000 a pound, you would probably have to grow them inside, too.

I agree with James. Even though arrests for cannabis growing in Sacramento is down from the past few years and the police say they don’t get that many complaints about cannabis grows, a few good regulations shouldn’t really cramp your style.

The biggest thing is to cut down on odor and to not be a target for thieves. Although I am sure a big-ass greenhouse will be just as ripe a target as an open garden. Greenhouses aren’t always the most secure buildings, what with the glass walls and whatnot. There will be a few unintended consequences from this ordinance; there always are. That being said, obey the law, and should be able to hook you up.

I’m looking to find out more about vapor pens or electronic portable vaporizers. I just started vaporizing for my health and want a portable option.


Cannabis vaporizers have made great technological strides in the past few years. Vaporizers work by heating the crystals on cannabis to the point where they become vapor. Since the crystals burn at a much lower heat than the actual cannabis leaf, the resulting vapor is less harsh on the throat and lungs. Plus, many portable vaporizers these days produce very little odor and no smoke, making them perfect for situations where discretion is advised.

If you are just smoking cannabis flowers, I like the Magic-Flight Launch Box ( They are really easy to use, and they don’t cost very much. If you are looking to vaporize hash or hash oils, try the Omicron ( A good guide to vaporizers can be found at Please invite me over to help you try out your new device. I will bring snacks.