Lesser-known pot holidays

Illustration by Kate Mitrano

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

Are there any cannabis holidays I should know about besides 4/20?

July 10 is coming up, and #710 is the hashtag of choice for the folks who like to smoke dabs, concentrates, hash oils and whatnot. Why? Because “710” upside down and backwards is “OIL.” Clearly stoners are prone to making weird observations, and even more creative when it comes to coming up with a good excuse to smoke weed all day. I also suggest that we claim Nov. 30 as “Danksgiving” (420 plus 710, get it?) and use it as an excuse to hand out cannabis-themed gifts to all of our stoner friends. Perhaps people could host “potluck” dinners. But yeah, July 10 is on the way, and I am sure your favorite dispensary will be running specials on all your favorite vapes, dabs and shatters. Enjoy yourself.

Are we ever gonna get cannabis legalization at the federal level?

Who can say? The feds are slow and capricious. But there is some good news: The U.S. House just passed (by a bipartisan vote of 267-155) a budget amendment sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, a longtime congressional cannabis activist, that would prohibit the federal government from interfering in state-regulated cannabis programs, be they medical or recreational.

This is great news, and I hope it passes the Senate and gets signed into law. Currently, 25% of the U.S. population lives in a state that allows some form of legalized cannabis consumption. If New York would manage to get it together and pass an adult-use legalization law, that percentage could get even higher. The N.Y. legislature failed to pass a legalization bill recently, but did pass a bill to decriminalize possession and to expunge the records of more than 900,000 people convicted of cannabis crimes, so it’s not all bad.

As it stands now, cannabis is still illegal under federal law, but it is extremely unlikely that we will see the Drug Enforcement Administration try to raid state-regulated cannabis businesses. For one thing, states with legal cannabis are making money and creating jobs. Colorado just announced $1 billion in cannabis sales this year. Oregon’s House just passed a law allowing that state’s cannabis farmers to export to other states. The American people want legal cannabis. It is past time for the federal government to get aboard the weed train.

What are you smoking and enjoying lately?

I just got back from the Oregon Hempfest, so I have been on some Oregon outdoor. I smoked some Quantum Kush, an OG Kush variant that I really enjoyed, and my homie had some Green Banana Crack that was pretty good, although it maybe hadn’t been cured as well as I would’ve liked. As August comes around, the outdoor farms are gonna start to run out of product, so if you are a fan of the sungrown weeds, it would behoove you to hit the clubs forthwith. Godspeed.