Senator Dianne Feinstein says nein to legal highs

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

Hey, I thought Senator Dianne Feinstein had recently come out in support of medical cannabis. What’s this I hear about her voting against a recent bill?

—Medical Mark

Your info is almost correct. This is what happened: Just about two weeks ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a vote on an amendment to the Department of Justice appropriations bill. This amendment would keep the DEA and the DOJ from going after legal businesses in states with medical marijuana laws. An identical amendment has already passed the House. The SAC voted to approve the amendment 21-9, with California Senator Dianne Feinstein being the only Democrat to vote against.

She makes me so mad sometimes. Senator Feinstein has had a long and … interesting career. While she may have done many nice things for the people of California, she has consistently been against any sort of marijuana law reform for more than 20 years. In March, she released a statement calling for more research. Calling for “more research” in 2015 is just a way to try to stall the inevitable. There is plenty of research from Israel, Spain and even the United States showing cannabis to be an effective medicine. Senator Feinstein also said this: “While I believe research should move forward, I also believe we should proceed with caution. I remain concerned about the high level of THC in marijuana, which has tripled since the 1980s and increases the likelihood of addiction. This may well be a continuing problem, which could pose a threat to public safety.” Really? High levels of THC? That just means you smoke less. “Likelihood of addiction”? Did she not read any of the studies? Cannabis is less physically addictive than alcohol, tobacco and even coffee. According to a recent poll from Gallup, 51 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. It’s a crying shame that a California Democratic senator can’t find a way to listen to the will of the people. End rant.

That being said, if this current appropriations bill passes, the DEA and the DOJ will be forced to leave medical marijuana alone. I mean, who knows what they will actually do? The DEA is hard to control. Call your U.S. representatives (especially Senator Feinstein) and tell them to support this bill.

Thank you for talking about medical marijuana. I’m a 59-year-old medical cannabis user. I am pretty much off of the pain pills that got me through my day by keeping most of my pain away because I am now getting great relief from cannabis infused edibles! Amazing! I wanted to ask you if you have a connection for me in this new world of dispensaries. I have an “accessory” for the medical/recreational marijuana world that I have patented. Thank you!

—D. Thomas

I am glad that cannabis has helped you! I don’t think there’s a Shark Tank for stoners yet, but I know that the folks at love to talk about pot-related business. Have fun!