Favorite stoners

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

Remember back in May when I asked people to tell me their favorite spot to toke in Sac? This is one of the responses:

I like the park atop the subterranean building [Seventh and Eighth streets at N and O streets]. There’s a sculpture garden, an amphitheater, lots of park seating, and a big, open space for pacing back and forth. (Why they don’t hold food-truck events [here] is beyond me—there’s even driveway access up there.) Great view of downtown buildings, including the light show atop the building that houses Morton’s [the Steakhouse], and a view of the harlequin building that is the state power station, plus the Stanford Mansion and a view of the state Capitol dome. There is hardly anyone up there day [or] night, and especially weekends. For a cozy smoke spot nearby, try the passageway beneath N Street that connects the subterranean building with the state [Employment Development Department] building. When I’m really stoned up there, it’s fun to pretend that the place is an empty Star Trek set, and Kirk and Spock are just around the corner getting high.

—Lalo in Alkali Flat

Who are some of your favorite cannabis users?

—420 Legends

That’s a tough question. There are so many cool, talented, productive, creative people that have admitted to using and enjoying cannabis, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few favorites.

In sports, there are NBA Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (he uses it for his migraines) and Bill Walton (he uses it because he’s a Deadhead), 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps (never smoke weed with an Olympic swimmer; they have huge lungs).

When it comes to musicians, I like Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Redman, Rihanna (don’t judge me), Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby (weed helped him to stop drinking), and we can’t forget Snoop Dogg (duh) and Willie Nelson (double duh).

Turning to politics, how about Barack “Choom Gang” Obama? No? Arnold “It’s Not a Drug, It’s a Leaf” Schwarzenegger? Not him either? I see your point. Maybe we should keep politicians out of this.

How about global entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson or scientist Carl Sagan? I have a special place in my heart for activists like Seattle Hempfest organizer Vivian McPeak or the late, great Jack Herer.

I can keep going: Cheech. Chong. Seth Rogen. James Franco. Melissa Etheridge. Just about every famous stand-up comedian ever, including George Carlin and Dave Chappelle. Hal Sparks is one of my favorite nonstoner comics, because even though he has never smoked weed, he’s a pot-legalization activist, so he gets an honorable mention. You can’t pick just one—or even a few.

Pot has been helping people think and create since before Moses saw the burning bush and came up with 10 cool rules for how to behave toward your fellow man. Just think: If weed didn’t exist, the Beatles would never have written the Rubber Soul album.