Taking stock of this year’s harvest

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

Hempy New Year! Can we get one of those end of the year recap things that people do around this time?

—Luke Enbach

Heck yes, you can. And away we go:

Low: Local politicians trying to hold on to prohibitionist policies. I’m looking at you, Fresno and Placer and Sacramento counties. No dispensaries allowed, and patients aren’t allowed to grow their own meds? For shame. Placer gets a small pass because they do allow some growing, but still. Try to get it together, you guys.

High: Weed keeps winning elections. Alaska, Oregon, Washington, D.C. All have legal weed now. Sweet. Way to go, activists! By the way, 32 states now have laws allowing the medicinal use of marijuana. If you are too stoned for math, that’s dang near two-thirds of all states in the entire United States. Overgrow the government, indeed.

Low: Los Angeles continues to hate the future. A few months ago, a judge in L.A. shut down the cannabis farmers market. And just a few weeks ago, a judge in L.A. shut down a medical-marijuana delivery app. I know L.A. is just now getting around to dealing with all of the dispensaries it has, but can city officials not see the writing on the wall? I went to a farmers market in Lake County and it was great! I have also been to a few in Washington state and they were also fantastic. Just slap a tax on the weed sold at the market, and a small city fee per delivery on the app, and there should be no problems. How hard is this to figure out?

High: Great cannabis events on the West Coast. All of the events I hit this year were amazing. Good weed, great music, fantastic people and no fights. Apparently, marijuana promotes peace. Special shouts out to the Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, and the Southern Oregon Hemp and Music Expo.

Low: Eh, not much else to complain about, really. Obama just pardoned or commuted the sentences of (I think it was) eight people doing serious time for nonviolent drug offenses. That only leaves about 100,000 other nonviolent drug offenders in custody. But I guess it’s a start.

High: Growing weed outdoors. This year I have seen and smelled and smoked and enjoyed so much incredible cannabis that was grown the old-fashioned way: using dirt, water and sun. You don’t need much else. The harvest this year has been incredible! The Emerald Cup (an outdoor-grown cannabis competition) received 671 entries from around the state, and I heard they were all fantastic. I feel like outdoor pot definitely tastes better than indoor pot. Plus I think it’s more environmentally sustainable, as long as you aren’t polluting the watershed or stealing water.

Overall, this has been a good year for marijuana, and a great year for marijuana law reform. I wish you all a happy Kwanzaa and a great new year!