The people speak

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

Twenty-nine states have legalized pot in some form or another! Fifty-eight percent of all the states agree! So what’s taking Congress so long to legalize it?

—Pass the Puck

When you put it like that it, seems like legalization would be a very simple thing to do. However, since when has a Congress controlled by the right wing done anything “for the people”? Expecting the U.S. government to use common sense about cannabis is not a good bet.

Just last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was “surprised” at the backlash he received when he said that he would maybe start to go after cannabis businesses in legal states. Surprised! How can he be surprised when recent polls show that 57 percent of Americans would like to see cannabis legalized? It’s not a surprise, it’s willful ignorance. And just because a majority of Americans want legal weed doesn’t stop a small but powerful minority from fighting against common sense. (Think about all the money evil rich folks would miss out on if private for-profit prisons and cheap prison labor were no longer a thing.)

The right-wing Heritage Foundation recently published a screed on how the DOJ could go after legal cannabis businesses (, if you want to look at the playbook), and I am fairly certain that Jeff “Too Racist to be a Federal Judge in the s’80s but OK to be the USAG Now” Sessions listens to the Heritage Foundation way more than he listens to a majority of the American people.

However, all is not lost. The current stopgap budget gives the DOJ no money to go after cannabis businesses in legal states, and there is a bill, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, working its way through Congress right now. The bill would remove cannabis from the DEA schedule and treat it more like tobacco and alcohol. I have no idea if this bill will go anywhere, but you might as well call your congressperson and ask them to support it.

How much weed can you legally have on your person? How many plants can we grow in our house for personal use?

—Folks at the Home Office

If you are just a regular, law-abiding citizen over the age of 21, you may carry up to an ounce of cannabis and or up to 4 grams of concentrated cannabis product (like hash or wax) on your person without fear of reprisal. If you have a letter of recommendation, you may carry up to 8 ounces of cannabis and concentrates.

You are allowed to grow at least six plants, but different cities have different limits. If you are growing more than six, check you local statutes. Of course, if you grow plants, you are gonna end up with more than an ounce (if you do it right), so you are allowed to store more than an ounce at home. Just don’t take it all outside at once.