Safe … for now

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

I heard that the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment was dead. Does this mean that the feds are gonna come after the medical marijuana clubs again?

—Puck Sautawneyphil

You are almost correct. The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment is now called the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer (try saying it three times fast) amendment. This amendment precludes federal law enforcement agencies from spending any money to go after medical marijuana businesses that are compliant with state laws. This amendment has protected cannabis clubs for the past four years. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a new budget, but bowing to pressure from U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, did not include this amendment.

However, the Senate, being smarter about these things, included the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment in their disaster aid and debt bill. The House of Representatives passed the Senate’s bill, and now we have a three month reprieve until the whole thing starts up again. Yay, politics!

Going after law-abiding cannabis clubs is dumb. All the recent polls show that a large majority of Americans want legal medical marijuana. Subverting the will of the people to appease a racist attorney general is bad policy. Big ups to the Senate for being smart, and big ups to the activists and lobbyists that managed to get us three months. It is now up to us to lean on our elected officials and remind them that their job is to follow the will of the people, and that no one should ever have to do time in jail because of marijuana. Get to work.

Are there technical differences between strains with names ending in “dream,” “OG,” “kush,” et al. and what are they?

—@scottmaybstoned (via Twitter)

Um, kinda? “Kush” used to refer to strains that originated in the Hindu Kush mountain regions near Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, these days it has become more of a superlative not identified with any particular strain. “Dream” is generally used to denote a “Haze” variant. Haze is an old-school super sativa with a hellacious buzz, and it would make some people crazy-anxious so folks started crossing it with indicas to smooth it out. So, when you cross a Blueberry with a Haze, you get Blue Dream. “OG” is just “OG.” It used to refer to a type of Kush, but now OG is kind of its own flavor. The naming of weed strains is unregulated, and some unscrupulous club owners will give a random strain a fancy name if they think it will boost sales, but that sort of thing is rare these days, especially since there are so many brands and farms trying to create buzzes (sorry) for their proprietary strains. Ed Rosenthal’s Big Book of Buds series is a good way to learn about all the strain names and genetic derivations. Have fun learning! Maybe I should start teaching some fancy weed tasting classes …