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(USA) Cannabis Comedy Festival a joint effort

Presumably, they don’t have glaucoma or cancer. Which is probably one reason they’re always laughing.

That and the fact they’re stand-up comedians, taking the “Cannabis Comedy Festival” on the road to promote the legalization of marijuana.

Ngaio Bealum, a veteran San Francisco comic, leads the brigade into Pepper Belly’s Comedy and Variety Theater today through Sunday.

They may not be singing “Hemp, hemp, hoorah!” but they will give the straight dope on marijuana, medicinal and otherwise.

Basically, “it’s a traveling comedy show featuring comedians who are cannabis friendly,” Bealum said. “Even some comics who won’t smoke marijuana come out to show their support.”

It’s not mandatory that the audience supports this grass-roots effort that helps benefit Americans for Safe Access, who advocates medicinal marijuana, Bealum said.

“Even if you don’t smoke cannabis, you will still have a good time,” he said. “Funny is funny.”

Bealum said the Cannabis Comedy Festival “shows that
Queen of the Valley Medical Center
cannabis users are regular people who like to go out, laugh and have a good time.”

The event promotes comedy to cannabis fans, rather than vice versa, Bealum said.

“So it’s a little different,” he noted. “Comedy fans already know the importance of cannabis in the comedy scene.”

Several high profile comics are obviously cannabis-friendly, Bealum said, including Cheech and Chong and, more contemporary, Doug Benson, while the late George Carlin and Mitch Hedberg were proponents.

“Cannabis and comedy go hand and hand,” insisted Bealum. “If you meet a comedian that doesn’t use cannabis, ask them when they quit.”

Though Bealum admittedly may smoke marijuana before or after a show, “my drug of choice is caffeine” during his performance.

Legalizing marijuana would help the state’s budget crisis, the comic said.

“It would mean less crime, less overcrowding in our jails, and less turning creative people into criminals,” Bealum said. “And it would mean over $100 million a year pumped into the state economy through taxes, not to mention all the new legitimate jobs that would be created.”

By Rich Freedman

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