Smoking openly

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

Heard you were at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Sacramento last weekend. How was it?

—Mary Jane Gage

It was hella cool. But before I talk about it, I just wanna say: Well done to the Sacramento City Council for approving the permits. I mean, a cannabis festival shouldn’t really be a big deal. The Emerald Cup has been at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds for more than five years now, and there has never been a problem, but city councils can be weird. Just last month, the politicians in San Bernardino denied a permit for a High Times Festival, even though High Times had done more than a few festivals down in Ol’ San Berdoo. Some thought that the Sac fest would be canceled, not because of the marijuana, but because of the rap music. It’s funny that rap music is still seen as weird and dangerous (OK, maybe Childish Gambino’s new music video is weird and dangerous) even as rap artists continue to dominate the pop charts. Fortunately, the council voted 6-2 to have the fest, and now they all look hella smart because there were no problems and Sacramento made a lot of money and generated a ton of good vibes. In fact, as a person who has been to umpteen different cannabis events all over the U.S., I can officially say that the High Times Cannabis Cup in Sac was a little boring, but in a good way. No drama, no fights, no problems. Rick Ross was great. Ludacris was Ludicrous. Lil Wayne did his thang. Hell, even Lauryn Hill showed up on time and had a great set. Some people complained about the lack of alcohol sales, but I always love it when folks are openly smoking weed while the boozers have to slink off to find their drugs. If you really want to find something to complain about, you could mention that maybe more than a few people passed out from too many dabs on a hot day, but that’s a quibble. It was a great event and everyone there had a (ahem) high time. We should do another one in the summer. And this fall. And in the winter.

We turned our last grow into dry ice hash and I was wondering if there is a solvent-less method for making it dab-able?

—Kiefer Pufferland

Smart question. Unless you are a trained professional, there is no need to use explosive solvents like butane to make concentrates. One mistake and you have just blown up your kitchen. No bueno. However, you can dab kief, kinda. Titanium nails work best. But if you are trying to refine your kief even further, a rosin press or a hair iron will help you out. YouTube is full of videos. Good luck.