How high?

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

What’s the highest you have ever been?

Funny you should ask. I just landed in Barcelona after a six-hour layover in Amsterdam, and those are the two cities that get me the most stoned, apparently.

Twenty-something years ago, I was the emcee at the High Times cup in Amsterdam. As you might imagine, I had a lot of weed left at the end of the week and I tried to smoke it all before getting on the plane. (I probably had 9 to 10 grams of weed and hash on me and I didn’t want it to go to waste.) I smoked maybe 3 grams in about an hour before throwing in the towel and giving the rest of my stash to some random tourist.

Let me tell you: Being hella stoned while trying to find the train that goes to the airport when you don’t read Dutch and you are too stoned to ask for directions is quite the challenge. I’m a professional, so I managed to hold it together and get to my flight—but it was close.

The other time I got incredibly high was just last year. I hosted a cannabis-infused edibles competition at Dank Grass Club in Barcelona. One of the contestants had made a lemon-meringue tart. I had a small piece, and it was good, so I had another small piece. Then a little bit of the cake and ice cream from the other competitor. Then another small piece of the lemon tart. Woohoo! About 40 minutes later I. Was. Faded.

A friend who has known me for 20 years told me that she had never seen me look high before. I looked in the mirror and started giggling because I definitely looked like I was high AF. Fortunately, there was coffee and non-infused snacks and good music, so I just chilled and giggled ’til I felt sober enough to get a cab.

There was one other time where I got hella high—but I don’t like to talk about it. Let’s just say one should be careful with one’s edibles when taking the red-eye Greyhound from Sac to Portland. Nothing like a small existential crisis whilst riding a bus through Oregon to help you put your life in perspective. Greyhound bus drivers are cool, but they are strict. Weed is definitely not allowed, and the driver will kick you off the bus (sometimes on the side of the road) if they know you are stoned. But that Greyhound ride was a long time ago, way before lab tests and the discovery of using CBD as a way to stop the effects of THC, so you don’t become an anxious paranoid stoner mess. Now, they print the amount of THC right on the package, making it way easier to control your dosage, and I often carry some sort of CBD product with me to certain events, just in case.