Roll and stroll

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

I like taking my medicine in the form of a joint while walking around the block. It gets me thinking, though: Is it legal to do that as long as I’m a patient? Where are places I can smoke if I can’t smoke at my apartment?

—Juan DeRoor

A little exercise, a little medicine. You sound like a health-minded person. According to California law, medical cannabis patients are allowed to consume cannabis anywhere tobacco consumption is allowed, except for a moving vehicle, so a walk around the block is a great idea. Be aware that some cities have designated entire areas as “smoke-free zones,” mostly in the chichi downtown spots (looking at you, Walnut Creek), so if you aren’t paying attention, you could get a ticket. But in general, although you may get a few odd looks and maybe a knowing smile or two, a good walk and a good weed go a long way toward creating a good day.

I hear the DEA has a new leader. What can you tell us about him?

—Nan Cour d’Leon

Not much. Chuck Rosenberg is the new guy. He was in the FBI and he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice. All the reports say he’s cool. We shall see what happens. I have many problems with the way the DEA goes about its business. Duh. Remember, if the DEA had heeded the advice of their own administrative judge, Frances Young, in 1988, we wouldn’t be dealing with a lot of the bullshit we are dealing with today. Young’s advice back then? “Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care. … It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.” Drug abuse is a social-health issue, not a criminal issue, and the DEA doesn’t have the desire nor the temperament to do anything other than throw people in jail to justify its $2 billion budget. I don’t think Mr. Rosenberg, in his position as interim director (he is expected to serve until Obama leaves office) will be able to affect any great changes in the DEA’s policy, although he is expected to ease up on cannabis law enforcement. If Mr. Rosenberg can get the DEA to stop going after medical cannabis patients, end the racial disparities in drug arrests and prosecutions and keep the DEA from obstructing medical cannabis research, I will buy him a beer. He will be in charge for about 18 more months. I wish him luck.

There’s been a lot of talk about movies, but what about music? What albums do you love to smoke with?

—Ant See

All of them. Come on. Good weed makes good music great, and bad music funny. I like Schubert’s 8th. Heh.