“My kids smell me smoking pot and they know we’re heading to miniature golf in the next twenty minutes,” jokes Bealum, whose first name is pronounced “oon-guy-o.” “I’m down for any animated feature when I’m high,”
Bealum was recently seen on The Sarah Silverman Program. He has also appeared on MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour, BET’s Comic View, A&E’s Evening at The Improv, and Comedy Central’s Comic Justice.
The comic who “sweats hash oil” discusses his very favorite topic, including how he once triumphantly beat a felony hash possession case.
Big Buds Mag: Your sets are very related to marijuana. Now you’re recording a pot comedy DVD. How did your passion evolve into a career?
Ngaio Bealum: It just happened. As I was doing more and more comedy, I also started getting more and more into cannabis activism. There was no conscious decision to become a “Cannabis Comic.” It just worked out that way.
BBM: How does marijuana enhance your comedy?
Bealum: It may make my material a little more introspective, but I don’t really get high with the intent of writing jokes or punching up material. I do think that my cannabis use gives me a “stoner’s perspective” on events and things, but my use is pretty constant and consistent, so I’m not sure. Sometimes weed can give you an insight on how to approach a subject, but I’m not sure.
BBM: How do you prefer to consume your marijuana?
Bealum: Edibles wreck my productivity, so I only use them for long flights or double features. Joint, pipe, bong, vaporizer, blunt—in that order.
BBM: Do you ever get high before your shows?
Bealum: Sure, don’t you get high before work? If it’s a big TV show or DVD taping then probably not, but at a club or a cannabis-themed show or a Hempfest-type event, then hell yes!
BBM: Do you currently have a medical marijuana card?
Bealum: Of course! I think everyone should have one. I used to be from the “I don’t really need it medically, so I don’t want to abuse the system” school of thought, but now I think everyone should have one just for legal protection and to support the cannabis industry. And I do use salves and tinctures medically for aches and sprains.
BBM: Have you ever had to flash your card to the police or other such authority?
Bealum: More times than I would like to admit. I just beat a felony hash possession case a few months ago. The cops tried to say that hash wasn’t protected under Prop 215, so I showed up in court with a copy of then CA ATTY, which is General Bill Lockyer’s guidelines on Prop 215 stating that hashish is in fact protected under the Compassionate Use Act. Case dismissed.
BBM: You’ve toured all over the map, especially for these various Hempfests. How does marijuana culture and attitudes about it differ in the different cities/countries you’ve visited?
Bealum: Marijuana culture is generally the same wherever you go. Some of the kindest, most compassionate, and most creative people I have ever met are a part of the international cannabis community.
BBM: Do you travel with marijuana on you?
Bealum: I usually have some papers or a pipe that I picked up at a festival. I do a lot of driving, so I can carry stuff with me as opposed to flying where [the TSA] wants to go through all your shit all the time.
BBM: Would you like to mention any upcoming appearances, shows, CDs/DVDs?
Bealum: June 15 at The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club in Universal City North Hollywood
June 16-19 at Laughs Unlimited in Sacramento
June 21 at The Wild Vine in Danville, CA
June 25 at The Dutch Girls 6.5 in God Hill
June 26 to July 2 at The Aroma of Tacoma Cup in Tacoma, WA
Bealum’s full set at Seattle Hempfest 2009: