Sun-grown cannabis is back, and it’s good

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

How does a really good outdoor grow compare to a really good indoor, in your opinion? I don’t recall ever smoking outdoor cannabis, even if homegrown.

—Joe from Twitter

I find your question amazing. Your Twitter handle suggests you are from California, so I am willing to posit that you have tasted outdoor, er, sun-grown cannabis at least once, although you may not have known.

Sun-grown weed gets a bad rap, mostly because back in the day, all the outdoor weed was smuggled in from out of the country or grown by irresponsible rapscallions more interested in profit than growing good cannabis. Also, the war on drugs crackdown on family pot farms (anyone remember the Paraquat herbicide?) created a great opportunity for indoor growers to dominate the market.

Cannabis grown indoors is really, really, good, but nothing beats a well-grown cannabis plant from the great outdoors. Indoor lights and fans can do a good imitation, but even the best lights lack the full spectrum of light emitted by the sun. Growing cannabis in the sun is also a more sustainable way to farm cannabis—you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars a month on electricity.

Plus, in my opinion, well-grown outdoor weed just tastes better, the same way a microbrew or a craft beer smells and tastes better than a commercial brewed beer. If you want to try some good sun-grown cannabis, hit up your local dispensary. Or wait until the Emerald Cup in December. Or just come over.

What’s up with the feds? Are they coming after us or not?

—Khan Speerasee

Who knows? These guys like chaos because it keeps everyone on alert. So far, though, things are going OK. Although United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions is still trying to keep cannabis illegal, the Senate Appropriations Committee just reauthorized the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, federal legislation that has kept the feds from spending money to go after state-legal canna-businesses since 2014. Hopefully, this amendment will also pass the House of Representatives, and we will be safe for a while longer.

One would hope that Sessions would have better things to do with his time than go after law-abiding cannabis users, seeing as he has a country to help ruin, er, run. As it stands, cannabis activists have a few things in our favor: One is the fact that the cannabis industry is making money for everyone, so governors and business owners aren’t going to want to kill their cash cow or go to jail for profiting from a federally illegal drug. And if you think Sessions won’t throw a governor in jail for collecting tax money from cannabis, you probably didn’t think Donald Trump would become president.

The other reason is that the Department of Justice may have to defend itself in court from a lawsuit by former NFL player Marvin Washington, which cites the racist roots of the war on drugs to challenge the Drug Enforcement Agency classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug.