Thanks, Jerry

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

I heard that Governor Brown has a bunch of cannabis bills on his desk. Any movement?

—Mod L. Citizen

First, the bad news: Gov. Brown has vetoed Senate Bill 829, which would have allowed cannabis dispensaries to provide low-to no-cost cannabis to indigent and poverty-stricken medical cannabis patients. This is not cool at all. Regular insurance programs rarely cover medical cannabis, so denying free or low-cost medicine to qualified patients is a dick move. Like for real. The cannabis movement was founded by activists and social justice warriors. To deny clubs the opportunity to continue their traditional roles so the state can reap a very small amount of tax revenue

(no taxes on free weed) is a damn shame. The governor ought to be ashamed of himself. Gov. Brown also vetoed a bill that would allow for safe injection sites, so at least he’s consistent in not helping people with serious issues.

Now, the good news: Gov. Brown did manage to approve a few cool things. He signed Assembly Bill 2020, which allows for cannabis events to be held just about anywhere, as long as the event promoters get approval from the city or county where the event will be held. This is great because county fairgrounds are hella expensive to rent, and not every event producer wants to throw a giant event. Some folks want to throw small dinner parties or farmers market-type things. The city of Oakland wants to add “weed gardens” to some of their city sponsored events. Hell yeah. This bill will make it easier for smaller event producers to get their cannabis-infused groove on. However, many folks are still gonna have a hard time getting their events off the ground because many city councils (at least the councils that aren’t Oakland) can be hard-nosed when it comes to allowing any sort of cannabis-related anything. But Brew Bikes are cool, I guess.

The governor also passed SB 1294. Known as “The California Cannabis Equity Act,” this bill gives the people most affected by the war on drugs a little bit of help if they want to start a new (legal this time) cannabis business. Well done. The cannabis industry is overrun with white dudes with money and no real understanding of cannabis culture trying to corner all the markets. Its time to level the playing field. I’m still mad about SB 829, but this is a good step in the right direction.

Then we come to AB 2215. This bill allows veterinarians to discuss cannabis use with pet-owners. That’s cool, I guess. I mean, it’s great that people can talk to their vet about weed for dogs, but I’m still hella upset that poor people can’t get free weed. Where are our priorities? Can we start a group called “People For The Ethical Treatment Of Other People”? How about we take care of people first, then we worry about their pets?