Under my skin

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

Hello! I’m back with another weed question. Have you ever heard of people treating their eczema with cannabis?

—Rose Esha

And high yourself! I have indeed heard of people using cannabis to treat their eczema. Once again: I am not a doctor. People should really talk to their health care professional before starting any sort of medical treatment.

OK, back to your question. Cannabis is known to do a few things. It is an anti-inflammatory and it also has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, so it stands to reason that a cannabis-infused salve or cream could at least help with the itching and scratching and whatnot. Also, I found a study about hempseed oil and dermatitis that came to this conclusion: “Dietary hempseed oil caused significant changes in plasma fatty acid profiles and improved clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis. It is suggested that these improvements resulted from the balanced and abundant supply of PUFAs in this hempseed oil.”

By the way, “PUFA” means “polyunsaturated fatty acid” so get your mind out of the gutter. The thing is, using a cannabis-based salve or even just hempseed oil on your eczema will most likely not miraculously cure you, but you might feel better and it definitely won’t make it worse. For thousand of years, people have used cannabis salves and poultices to find relief from a variety of symptoms, but I caution folks from thinking that cannabis is a cure-all for whatever ails you.

But who knows? Maybe one day scientists will find a cannabis-derived concoction that does in fact cure eczema. We need more tests. It would be great if the federal government would make it easier for scientists to study this amazing plant.

I hear that Congress is reintroducing a cannabis legalization bill. What have you heard?

—Will Iteverhappen

You are correct! On the last day of February, U.S. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, along with Reps. Barbara Lee and Ro Khanna of California reintroduced a legalization bill.

Booker, who is also seeking the Democratic nomination for president, posted a few quotes about the bill on his website: “The Marijuana Justice Act seeks to reverse decades of this unfair, unjust, and failed policy by removing marijuana from the list of controlled substances and making it legal at the federal level. But it’s not enough to simply decriminalize marijuana. We must also repair the damage caused by reinvesting in those communities that have been most harmed by the War on Drugs. And we must expunge the records of those who have served their time. The end we seek is not just legalization, it’s justice.”

Woot woot! Legalize weed, clear up people’s criminal records and invest in communities decimated by the War on Drugs? It would be awesome. Unfortunately, I fear that Congress may have more pressing issues in the next few months, what with all the hearings about corruption and collusion that are taking place. I fear that we won’t get federal legalization until we get a new (Democratic) president.