Dominoes falling

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

Hello, sir. Has the tipping point been reached?

—Admiral Stoneyham

Salutations, Admiral. I would say the tipping point is fast approaching. Not just in the United States, but all over the world.

José “Pepe” Mujica, president of Uruguay, has just been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize because he legalized marijuana. Over in France, not only has the health ministry just allowed Sativex (a marijuana-based oral spray) to be used to treat people with multiple sclerosis, but French Sen. Esther Benbassa also has proposed that France legalize marijuana completely. Her proposal probably won’t get much traction yet, but I tell you this: If France legalizes weed, they could quickly become the best spot for outdoor in the world. Think of the dirt!

Back in the states, Florida got the go-ahead to add a medical-marijuana initiative to the ballot. And Charlie Crist, former Republican governor of Florida and current front-runner to become governor in 2014 (he’s running as a Democrat), had this to say: “I’m going to vote for it and I think it’s the right thing to do.”

More and more politicians are realizing that legalizing marijuana not only saves money, but it helps to legitimize the government. Like Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen said while he was lambasting deputy drug czar Michael Botticelli during a recent hearing, “Heroin is getting into the arms of young people,” Cohen said. “When we put marijuana on the same level as heroin and crack and LSD and meth and crack and cocaine, we are telling young people not to listen to adults about the ravages and problems, and they don’t listen because they know you’re wrong.” He may have been a bit rambly, but you get his point.

California is also in the mix. The people behind the Marijuana Control, Legalization & Revenue Act just won approval to begin seeking signatures for the 2014 ballot. I have no idea if they can get it on the ballot, but I hope they can do it.

I will keep going. Oregon may have legal marijuana by 2014. Washington, D.C.’s city council just voted to decriminalize pot. Colorado made at least $1 million in taxes in the first month of recreational sales. I say “at least” because only 18 of the 35 stores open so far have made reports. Think about how much they will make when they have 100 or so stores open. The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to legalize cannabis, although the governor has promised a veto. Alaska activists just got enough signatures to put a legalization bill similar to the one Colorado has on the ballot for the election coming this August. The Vermont Legislature is looking at ways to legalize, and it could have legal weed by 2015.

You want more? Try these: Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Missouri, Minnesota, Kentucky, Tennessee and the aforementioned Florida all have some sort of medical-marijuana legislation pending. The dominoes, they fall, and they fall fast. Let’s keep pushing.