Dear Ombudsman: ‘Should I cut back on all-day use?’

Ngaio Bealum is GreenState's Ombudsman

Ngaio Bealum is GreenState’s Ombudsman

An ombudsman is defined as “a person who investigates and attempts to resolve complaints and problems.” We figure cannabis could use such a problem solver, and The Ombudsman is Green State’s advice and etiquette column. It’s written by Ngaio Bealum, who edited the West Coast Cannabis newspaper and is arguably the No. 2 weed comedian in America, behind Doug Benson. Bealum is a Sacramento-area father, a go-to host for cannabis events and a veteran world traveler. All of which make him a keen observer of human behavior and a reliable ambassador for grass. In this installment, Bealum tackles self-consciousness and how to cut back on one’s habit. …

ello Ngaio. I am almost 63. I smoked my first joint in 1971, so I have come a long way from buying illegally to buying medical-grade cannabis at the dispensary. I light up with my morning coffee, smoke throughout the day (when I am not out or under circumstances that still make it unacceptable) and at the end of the day.

No one in my household smokes and I live in a condominium that does not allow smoking, so I either step out onto the patio or go to my car. I accept the fact that the smell bothers other people. Here’s my question: What can I do to cut back a bit and also how not to feel like a criminal? — C.G

Dear, C.G.

Woo Hoo! Way to be a conscientious pot smoker! Yes, some people don’t like the way marijuana smells, but I have always held the opinion living in a city means having to put up with small nuisances. Pot has a much better aroma than a lot of other odors associated with city life. I’m sure if you asked people if they would rather live in a city that smelled like pot or a city that smelled like hot urine, most people would pick the weed option.

If you are trying to cut down a bit, remember that cannabis use is really more of a habit than an addiction. Try not to smoke first thing in the morning. Wait until after the coffee has kicked in and you have maybe run a few errands or done some other productive things before you light up. You could always roll smaller joints or take fewer hits and see how you feel. And there is no need to feel like a criminal. MARIJUANA IS LEGAL IN CALIFORNIA! You aren’t doing anything wrong. I know you’ve had to deal with decades of anti-pot propaganda telling you pot users are criminals and reprobates, but I am also sure you know most pot users are cool and nice.

Enjoy your law abiding pothead status. You have earned it.