Oily goodness

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

I’m a 100 percent disabled veteran and I have a question about oils. I stopped using marijuana because it was a little hard on my lungs and left me short of breath sometimes. The oils with the vape pens are easier on my lungs and simpler to use. Please explain the difference in oils versus marijuana and whether the oil’s safer for me to use. Thank you.


Thank you for your service. You are right—vaporizers are definitely easier on the lungs, and they are superconvenient. Most of the new pens work by combining hash or hash oil with some sort of solvent, like glycol. The thing about some of the oil vapor pens on the market is no one really knows the long-term effects of glycol on the lungs. These pens are all relatively new and haven’t really been studied. Look for a pen that burns pure hash oil. It may be a little more inconvenient (you have to load the hash oil yourself, and that stuff is goopy and kinda messy if you aren’t careful), but I think the flavor and effects are superior to most of the other products. I also really like the PAX Vaporizer for cannabis flowers. It works by vaporizing the THC-containing glands of the plant without burning the plant material itself. Have a good one.

I have a friend with some serious medical issues and she is interested in trying medical cannabis. The thing is, she is a teacher and is worried about keeping her job. What can she do?

—Coco Irie

Hmmm. I will say this again: If you go get a letter of cannabis recommendation from your doctor, no one has to know. Your medical history is protected under the HIPAA Act. You will not be on a list and your boss doesn’t have to know. However, California offers no job protection for medical cannabis users, and yes, the rule has already been tested in court. Look up the court case Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications Inc. if you want more info. So, if your friend is subject to random drug testing, she could be in danger of losing her job. One of the things we should discuss as we head toward full recreational legalization in California is how we are going to protect cannabis users’ jobs. Who knows? Perhaps when weed is legal, employers won’t be so uptight about people smoking a joint after work.

What’s your favorite action and adventure film to watch while stoned?

—Michael Medhead

Um, all of them? I love a good action film. And I really love a good caper flick. I think you would need something exciting, but also funny. Try The Last Action Hero because Arnold. I also like Ocean’s 11 and Ocean’s 13. Ocean’s 12 is not very good, you can skip it. If you like it over the top, try Crank or Shoot ’Em Up. Weed and movies go together like weed and movies. Invite me over. I will bring joints and popcorn.