What does it mean now that the federal government isn’t suing over legal marijuana?

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

So, the feds aren’t going after Colorado and Washington. Now what?


First, the good news: On August 29, Attorney General Eric Holder made a phone call to the governors of Colorado and Washington and told them that the Department of Justice would allow the states to follow the will of the people and regulate the legal, recreational use of marijuana for adults.

This is awesome news—but let’s not get too excited.

Remember when the “Ogden memo” came out shortly after President Barack Obama was elected, and everyone started acting like weed was suddenly legal? And then, two years later, the “Cole memo” came out, and the Drug Enforcement Administration and Department of Justice started shutting down cannabis clubs in California?

Cannabis is still illegal under federal law. Until that law is changed, any memo or guideline from the feds can be changed or revoked at any time. The federal government also stated that they are reserving the right to sue Colorado and Washington over marijuana at a later date.

Oh, and there is a new Cole memo. This one outlines eight priorities for federal marijuana prosecution. It focuses on folks who distribute marijuana to minors, use revenue from marijuana sales for criminal enterprises, export marijuana from states where it is legal to other states, use legal marijuana as a pretext for other illegal drug trafficking, mix marijuana and firearms, drive drugged, grow marijuana on public lands, and possess or use marijuana on federal property.

All in all, this is a big victory for cannabis users. This decision by the DOJ gives states that may be considering marijuana legalization (California, Massachusetts, Oregon, I’m looking at you) more political cover and less fear of federal interference. Now is the time for us to get even more active. We are so close to ending the war on cannabis. Keep up the good work.

What are your favorite strains right now?


I have been on the road for a while, and one thing I have noticed is the emergence of superlocal strains. These are small-batch strains that haven’t gone mainstream yet. My favorites right now are: Yeager, which is a Hindu Kush variant from southern Oregon; and Blue City Diesel, a Blueberry and Diesel cross that I found in Portland, Ore. The Yeager is very kushy, with purple tones and a smooth indica high, and the BCD has an incredible blueberry sweetness up front, with a strong and lingering—and I do mean lingering—diesel-menthol finish. What are your favorites right now?