Will Proposition 215 doctor recommendations for marijuana come up on background checks for state jobs?

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

I am writing to ask about the 215 card. I have a back/spinal condition, which puts me in a lot of pain. I would like to try the CBD buds, having heard that it helps and doesn’t get you high. The concern I have is that I am applying for fellowship and state jobs. Would my name be put on a list where employers and anyone who does a background check would be able to see that I have a 215 card? I am competing with hundreds of others and do not want to jeopardize my chances. I have heard that no urine test is administered, however, I am worried of the background check.


Sorry to hear about your back. It is true that cannabidiol, or CBD, has shown promise as a pain reliever and an anti-inflammatory. It is also true that CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive effects of THC. In fact, CBD can act as a THC inhibitor, preventing you from getting too high.

CBD has been in the news lately, because it has become increasingly popular as a treatment for Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy that causes children to have several seizures a day. Many states are passing legislation aimed at allowing high-CBD strains for medical use, but keeping THC illegal. Sounds kind of dumb to me, but whatever. Weed will be completely legal soon enough.

As to your question about background checks: Don’t worry about it. In California, medical-cannabis recommendations are between you and your doctor. Medical-privacy laws prevent you from being on any sort of list. So go get signed up. Once you do get your letter and visit a medical-cannabis dispensary, look for high-CBD strains like Cannatonic, Harlequin or Sour Tsunami. They should also have some high-CBD edibles and tinctures if you don’t want to smoke. I hope you feel better.

High, Ngaio. I have been smoking weed on the daily for a long time. I just don’t get as high as I used to get. What should I do?

—Tommy Tolerance

You have two choices: Start smoking a bunch of hash, or just quit smoking weed for a while. Hash will get you hella high, but eventually, you will also develop a tolerance to hash as well, and hash gets expensive. Just stop smoking for a while, like a week or two. You may feel weird at first, but you will have vivid dreams and a little extra money. After two weeks, smoke a bowl, and see if you don’t get higher than you’ve been in a while.

I am a grown man, and I still can’t roll a joint to save my life. Any tips?

—Freddy Fumblefingers

Practice. That’s really the best way to be better at it. Get a pile of cannabis and a pack of rolling papers (I recommend the one-and-a-quarter size), and get to work. Roll until your fingers hurt. After you have rolled about 50 joints or so, you should have an idea of what it takes to roll a serviceable doobie. Don’t worry too much about a perfect cylinder, just get it so it burns evenly. Of course, the Internet is also full of tips. Have fun!