What's up with Gov. Jerry Brown's comments on marijuana?

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

What’s up with Gov. Jerry Brown smack talking marijuana last week?

—Not Sutter

I have no idea. In a recent TV interview, Gov. Brown had this to say about legalizing marijuana: “The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes. And all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?”

Dude. Really? What happened? Where did “Governor Moonbeam” go? Is this the same guy that dated Linda Ronstadt? I have a message for you, Mr. Governor: All of the people that want to smoke weed already do. And California is still a great state.

Some folks seem to think that legalizing cannabis will lead to some sort of explosion in marijuana use. That isn’t the case. What legalization does is keep people from going to jail for using marijuana, while giving the state legitimate jobs and tax revenue. How can this be a bad thing? How many people can get drunk and still have a great state or a great nation? Alcohol is much more problematic than marijuana, and no one is trying to put boozers in jail. I think Gov. Brown made a mistake with this statement. Hopefully, he will figure it out.

This year will mark 40 years of cannabis use for myself, and in the last month, I’ve read two haunting articles that have caused me to view things in a different light. The first was a Mother Jones article regarding the impact of grows on public land, as well as private land, in primarily the Emerald Triangle, focusing on rodenticide usage and it’s impact on Pacific fisher populations, as well as other predators. And, of course, water usage. The second was an article on AlterNet that spoke about the intense energy usage involved in indoor grows. As a cannabis user, I want my money to be used in as responsible a manner as possible. I’m now thinking very hard about where my cannabis comes from, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. I’m currently done with indoor-grown herb. It can be some righteous and dank stuff, but the footprint is just too huge.


I feel you. The best answer would be taxation and regulation. Think about it: If pot was legal, there could be rules in place for what kinds of pesticides and chemicals growers could use. I want to smoke weed, not chemicals. As it stands now, many unscrupulous or just-plain-lazy people will grow however they want. There are no “best practices.” It’s really what they think they can get away with. It frustrates me to no end. Your best bet is to find a grower you know and trust, and ask them about how they raise their crops.