Lethal reefer?

illustration by maria ratinova

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

Hey. I was surfing the web, and I saw a Sacramento County website aimed at preventing teenagers from using marijuana. They had a post that said that cannabis infused edibles are “potentially lethal.” Is this true? Can I die from eating an edible?

—Ivana Liv

That’s weird. No one has ever died from eating too much weed. Ever. The only way eating weed could kill you is if you choked to death by trying to eat too fast. I checked out that web page (on sacramentoccy.org) and I gotta say, a lot of the claims they make seem to be designed to scare rather than to educate. I scoured the internet to see if anyone has ever died from eating a cannabis-infused edible. I found three deaths: two suicides and one homicide. These deaths are unfortunate, but no one can say for certain that cannabis caused these tragedies. Of course, children and teenagers should stay away from weed. People with a history of mental illness should also maybe not use cannabis. Duh. But I am of the opinion that being honest with kids is better than trying to scare them. I guess calling cannabis infused edibles “potentially lethal” is technically correct, but walking across the street could also be considered “potentially lethal.” Hell, with the way America is right now, just going to school could be considered “potentially lethal.” I feel like the Sacramento County Youth Marijuana Prevention Campaign could do a better job. Don’t forget that in states with legalized cannabis, rates of teen-use trend down. There is no reason to use fear as a tool when education and common sense will suffice.

Hey man. I am in the California cannabis industry and I would like to get a few of these new rules changed. What can I do about it?

—Dean Green

The cynical answer would be, “Not much unless you have millions of dollars to spend on lobbyists.” But stoners are known for optimism and hope, so I will let you know that the three-headed beast in charge of California cannabis regulations—the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Public Health—are about to release their permanent regulations, but not before they hold some stakeholder meetings that will allow people to comment on rules and laws that need to be changed. You can find the proposed regulations here: cannabis.ca.gov/cannabis-regulations.

If you want to discuss these new rules, you can send a letter or attend one of the meetings being held by each department. Each department is holding three or four meetings in different parts of the state over the next month or so. Check out the California Cannabis Portal (sounds like a magical place, but it’s really just a website): cannabis.ca.gov for more info. Good luck.