Weed’s winning streak

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

Hey man. What’s happening? I mean, like on a national level? Is weed still winning?

—Jess Wondrin

Aw yeah. Weed stays winning! Illinois just passed a comprehensive bill to legalize cannabis for adults, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who ran and won as a pro-legalization candidate, has said that he will sign the bill. It will take effect on Jan. 1, and will allow Illinois residents 21-and-older to possess as much as 30 grams (a little more than an ounce) of cannabis, while non-residents will be allowed to possess 15 grams.

More good news: The bill will also expunge convictions for people who were busted for cannabis during the prohibition days. Downside: Home grows are heavily regulated and only medical cannabis patients will be allowed to grow. Employers will still be able to fire workers who test positive for cannabis, and local jurisdictions have a lot of leeway in how, or even if, they want to regulate cannabis businesses. Still, this is a good thing. There are now 12 states with legal cannabis. The tipping point is fast approaching. Hell yeah.

Other quick notes: New York City just passed an ordinance that prevents employers from testing for cannabis. This is awesome. Cannabis tests don’t prove someone is impaired; they just detect the presence of THC metabolites, which can stay in the bloodstream for days after the effects of the drug have worn off.

A federal court has ordered the Drug Enforcement Administration to “promptly” reassess cannabis as a Schedule I drug, which means it has no medical uses and is harmful and addictive. Opioids are Schedule II. This is, of course, B.S. The DEA has habitually dragged its feet when it comes to being honest about cannabis, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has finally had enough. “We are troubled by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s history of dilatory proceedings,” Judge Guido Calabresi wrote for the 2-1 majority on May 30.

This is big. I expect the DEA to continue to delay and distract, but now it will have to deal with a court that is in no mood to play. It’s about time. So yeah, weed is winning.

CBD products are becoming prolific. Some work, most are bad. How can you tell if one is worth it before you buy?

—Auntie Vice

via Twitter

Man, it’s ridiculous. CBD is very effective for a variety of things, but does it really need to be in everything from lotion to ice cream? And studies have shown that most over-the-counter CBD products don’t even contain CBD. The Food and Drug Administration is starting to crack down on bogus products, but it’s an uphill battle. Your best bet is to go to your local dispensary and look for CBD products that have their test results clearly listed. By the way, CBD is way more effective when mixed with a little THC. Have fun. Be well.