Korean kush

Illustration by Analie Foland

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

Tons of websites claim that cannabis cures everything from psoriasis to cancer. Is it true, and what are the best places for legit research on weed’s health benefits?

—Anita Bole

Cannabis can help patients cope with heavy diseases, but saying that cannabis “cures” everything is a stretch. It’s weird though, because I also know people who say they’ve beaten lung cancer and other serious illnesses with cannabis. I also know folks who say grass didn’t really help them. It’s almost like people are different. Huh.

My big go-to sources for fairly objective knowledge about cannabis’ medicinal benefits are the book Marijuana: Gateway to Health by Clint Warner, and Granny Storm Crow’s hella comprehensive list of just about every pot study done in the past 20 years. Enjoy the research rabbit hole!

I heard that South Korea became the first East Asian country to legalize weed. For serious?

—Tree Com Park

Kinda. South Korea recently legalized cannabis for medicinal use, but before you plan your flight, understand that there are no dispensaries open yet. You need a doctor’s letter and approval from the Korea Orphan Drug Center. Get your paperwork in order before planning a Korean holiday.

For serious, this is a giant step in the right direction. Asian countries have generally been strict about cannabis prohibition, so a country recognizing cannabis as a boon and not a bane is heartening.

Why do you still use the word “marijuana”? You know that word is hella racist, right?

—Merry Jane

I used to argue against that. Something like, “Whatever. Maybe it was kind of racist then, but it isn’t racist now.” I’ve changed my way of thinking since then. Enough people let me know that the word is still more than a little bit racist. Since I’m working on believing marginalized groups when they tell me that something I think is OK is in fact problematic, and since there are plenty of other good words to use when describing cannabis (dank, tree, weed, pot, grass, loud, etc.), I’ve been doing my best to avoid using the word “marijuana” in print, and saying it out loud. Higher learning, indeed.

Favorite strain this harvest season?

—Chron Issuer

I’m digging the Tropical Peach Blossom from Greenshock Farms. Super terpy with a pleasant mellow high. Just hung out with a few friends, and we all shared some homegrown goodies. My Dr. Demento was nice, but a little harsh (I think I cured it too fast), but my homie’s Black Jack has had me smiling and working all day.