The echo chamber

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

I feel like cannabis lovers hail from across the political spectrum, and sometimes this means I see content I find offensive in the cannabis social sphere. Do you encounter this breaking down of echo chambers in the cannabis world?

Yeah, it’s weird. I was devastated to see how many racist people exist in the cannabis community. And before you start, let me break it down for you: If you support someone who advocates racist policies, you support racism. If you support racism, you are a racist. It’s a simple equation.

Even if the Trump administration manages to legalize weed (and don’t hold your breath; too many Republicans make too much money from the private prison industry), many officials will still be racist. Cannabis culture is supposed to be about freedom, liberty and equality, so racism, sexism and inequality should have no place in the movement. Smoking weed can be enlightening and should remind you that we are all one, but it doesn’t always work that way.

But just because the world is the way it is doesn’t mean that we are just going to give in. If you catch your weed-smoking homie doing or saying something racist, you should speak up. Speak up gently and with love, but speak up. Small actions often lead to big changes.

Do you know if there are any dispensaries that sell shake? Or anywhere else where I can get shake? Looking to do some baking.

Yes. Most dispensaries sell shake. Shake is super versatile. (It’s the little leaves and stuff left over after trimming the buds.)

It’s good for making somewhat under-flavored but still enjoyable joints. I like to sprinkle it into the joint with a strong-flavored weed as a sort of “weedburger helper.”

It’s also excellent for cooking. When I say cooking, I mean making infused oils and butters. Dumping a bunch of shake into a salad would taste bad and probably not get you as high as you would like. You have to decarboxylate it before you eat it.

There was a time when clubs and growers would give away shake for free because no one wanted it. But now with all the extraction companies, pre-roll manufacturers, bakeries and whatnot, the price has risen. It’s still cheap compared to whole buds. And while most clubs do indeed carry shake, it tends to go fast, so you should probably call the club ahead of time and ask them about what they have on hand. Bong appetit!