On marijuana ads

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

How are our good friends at The Partnership at Drugfree.org doing?

—The Pal

Funny you should ask. It seems they are going to have to accept some new realities. They just released a survey called “Marijuana: It’s Legal, Now What?” They surveyed just over 1,600 parents about weed and found that a huge majority approved of medical marijuana, and almost 50 percent approved of legalizing weed for recreational purposes. Hee hee! The times, they are a-changin’! When staunch drug-war defenders such as The Partnership have to admit that weed legalization is inevitable, you know you are doing something right.

The survey also found that parents worry about weed advertisements. This argument is similar to ones made against ads for cigarettes and booze. I can see their point. It’s tough to keep your kids on the straight and narrow path when they are constantly bombarded with ads about how cool drugs are.

The debate about marijuana advertising will be interesting. I believe that one of the things leading to the backlash against medical marijuana in California was not just the proliferation of clubs but the proliferation of cannabis advertising. It’s a delicate dance, because people have a right to advertise their business, but they need to do it in a way that doesn’t scare the squares. All those giant pot leaves and whatnot seem to give some people the willies. And I don’t mean the Willie Nelsons.

Do you guys have any suggestions as to the best way to advertise without being rude?

If you could smoke pot with anyone living, who would it be? Dead?

—Hypothetical High

Hmm. Usually, when someone asks this question, they mean famous people, so let’s skip all the obvious ones (Snoop, Willie Nelson, Rihanna) and all the ones I have already smoked with (Redman, Brian Posehn, Doug Benson, Adam Sandler, Adrianne Curry and Tommy Chong, to name a few) and try to find some interesting ones.

I would love to get high with Morgan Freeman. I’m sure he could tell some stories. Paula Deen could probably use a bong hit or two right about now. We could get high and make some sort of deep-fried, bacon-wrapped cheesecake.

When it comes to smoking weed with dead people, the choice is easy for me. Take me back to the ’40s and let me burn the reefer with all those hepcats: Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Mezz Mezzrow, Bing Crosby (he smoked a lot of weed; it helped him when he quit drinking) and Lord Buckley. I’m sure Louis Armstrong would drop by at some point. Ol’ Satchmo loved weed. Loved it! And I quote: “If we all get as old as Methuselah, our memories will always be of lots of beauty and warmth from gage. Well, that was my life and I don’t feel ashamed at all. Mary Warner, honey, you sure was good and I enjoyed you ’heap much.’” He actually once wrote a letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower asking him to legalize marijuana.