Pot and the sleeping brain

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

I have decided to stop using marijuana for various reasons, but I am having a hard time falling asleep at night. What can I do?

—Wyatt E. Wake

Habits are a hard thing to break. It’s funny, when I stop using cannabis (Hush. I have gone without cannabis for days at a time in some small Idaho towns.) I generally don’t have a hard time falling asleep but I do have crazy-vivid and funky dreams. Everyone is different. I looked it up online and all the advice seems to be the same: Exercise a little more during the day, don’t look at electronic media while you are in bed, read a book, do some breathing exercises, yadda yadda yadda. Eventually your body will get used to the new paradigm and you shouldn’t have any problem. Good luck and enjoy your vivid dreams!

I hear the DEA is making it easier for scientists to study marijuana. Is this true?

—Sy N. Tiffick

Kinda. The Drug Enforcement Administration is making it easier for scientists to study CBD (cannabidiol, one of the hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant). The new rules from the DEA allow scientists to skip a step or two when they need to get more CBD for research, but doesn’t affect studies on THC or other compounds. Remember, cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has “no medicinal value” and a “high likelihood for addiction and abuse.” Ha!

But seriously, maybe the DEA is starting to come around. The Food and Drug Administration recently sent a letter to the DEA recommending that cannabis be rescheduled, and while I have no faith in the DEA’s ability to get anything right—it took them five years to deny the last request for rescheduling, and they have kept marijuana listed as a Schedule I drug in spite of a 1988 ruling from a DEA administrative law judge calling cannabis “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man”—I still hold hope that Obama will issue an executive order removing cannabis from the drug schedule altogether. Yes, he can do that. And if he doesn’t and marijuana wins big in the 2016 elections, the next president will probably have to do something. Vote for weed, you guys.

I want to legalize weed in California, but I hate the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. What can I do?


This is what’s up: It costs at least $10 million to run an initiative campaign in California. The AUMA has Facebook billionaire Sean Parker’s promise of around $20 million. Do you have the money to run a campaign? Everyone wants to hate, but no one wants to put up any money. If all the growers and sellers and advocates were to chip in and raise even $5 million toward a good law, we could get something going. This is one of those “put up or shut up” type of deals, I think.