Step your game up

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

When do you see more dispensaries opening in the Sacramento area, if ever? Are they going to come back at all, even if we as a state get it legalized? I live in Rocklin, and it’s hard to get my meds, except for going underground to get it.

—Rocklin roll

Good luck. Not only does the city of Rocklin have a zoning ban on medical-marijuana dispensaries (Rocklin Municipal Code 17.64.030 states, “The following uses are prohibited in all zones, and no conditional use permit shall be issued therefor: A. Kennel; B. Junkyard; C. Refuse disposal site; D. Medical marijuana dispensary”), Rocklin also has a ban on outdoor growing. Its indoor rules aren’t bad, so maybe you could set up a grow room if you have the time and the money. Your best bet is to find a good delivery service. And to vote for new lawmakers that will allow medical marijuana in your town.

Are we still winning?

—Up-to-date Ursula

Yes. We are still winning. Wait. Let me change that. We are still winning, except in California.

I don’t get it. Uruguay has legalized weed. Not just legalized it, but nationalized the production and sale of weed. Colorado has legal weed. In fact, you can grow up to 12 plants for your own personal use if you like in Denver. Washington state has legal weed. Oregon has a statewide plan for medical-marijuana dispensaries and is looking to have legal marijuana by 2014. Hell, a legislator in New York just introduced a bill to legalize weed. New York is ahead of us? New York, home of the stop-and-frisk?

Let me use a popular online meme: see photo.

Not just illegal. The pushback against medical marijuana and medical-marijuana growing shows no sign of stopping.

Fresno County is working on an ordinance that would ban all outdoor growing. Sacramento County has a ban. The city of Concord has a ban. Roseville has a ban. The California Supreme Court recently ruled that cities may ban medical-cannabis dispensaries.

Come on! How are we losing? California passed its medical-marijuana bill in 1996. We should be far ahead of everyone else.

There are a few reasons. California is much more conservative than people like to admit. Not libertarian conservative, but conservative conservative. Once you get outside the Bay Area (I am including Santa Cruz as “the Bay Area”), it gets hella Republican. In 2010, Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana, lost in all but 12 counties. Mono and Alpine were the only two noncoastal counties to pass the initiative. This was three years ago, and a lot has changed, but not really. California is still full of people that think weed is a crime and that prohibition works. And we are letting them get away with it. We need to step our game up.