Why weed activism matters

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

Hi, Ngaio. Read your note on “Any good festivals coming up?” (SN&R The 420, September 26), and thanks for the info. Is there a listing of the yearly events up someplace on the Internet? Don’t mind traveling, but need to schedule. Thanks.

—Don and Millie

I wish. For some reason, stoners can’t seem to get it together enough to have just one spot on the Web with a comprehensive event listing. You have to visit all the websites of all the various organizations. It’s a bit of a hassle. Maybe we should start a website.

Hey, I heard California just legalized hemp production. Is this true?

—Shirley Hemple

Yes, Gov. Jerry Brown did indeed sign Senate Bill 566 allowing farmers to grow hemp. Here is a quote from the author of the bill, state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco): “With the signing of this bill, California is poised to grow industrial hemp when the federal government gives states the green light. In the past year, the conversation to legalize the cultivation of hemp has gained momentum at the federal level, and it is only a matter of time before a farmer’s right to grow hemp is restored.” This law is similar to a law passed in Kentucky last year. And while this is a good step forward, it will take a while before California farmers start to reap the benefits of hemp farming, although a farmer in Colorado just harvested his legal hemp crop (thank you, Amendment 64!) last week. Hemp, hemp, hooray!

High! It’s harvest season, and I plan on doing a ton of trimming this year. Well, maybe not a literal ton, but a lot. Any advice on how I can avoid a repetitive stress injury?

—Sally Scissor-Sister

Right? Harvest season is fun, but you can cause yourself permanent damage if you don’t do it right. Be sure to stretch your hands and wrists before you start, and take frequent breaks. Learn to trim with your nondominant hand. You can also look into handheld electric trimmers like the Speedee Trim. You can always invite me over if you need extra help.

Dude. Why so much weed activism? Why not work on something more important?

—Dudley Do-right

Yeah. I hear this a lot. It’s usually something like, “You guys just want to get stoned; you aren’t real activists.” I call bullshit. Let’s look at what marijuana and hemp legalization would accomplish: Fewer people in prison for drugs would help end prison overcrowding; legalizing weed would help stop racial profiling (black and brown people do more time and are arrested more often for drugs, even though whites use drugs more often); pot stores and clubs would create a bunch of jobs, leading to more tax revenue for states and cities. Legal hemp would also mean more money for agriculture. I could go on and on. My point is that while weed legalization may seem like one small, not terribly important thing, we could actually tackle a whole bunch of problems by legalizing marijuana. Who says stoners can’t multitask?