Think You Know Weed? Ngaio Bealum and Daily Bonfire Will Put Tokers to the Test

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Photos
courtesy
of
Daily
Bonfire

If
there’s
one
thing
that
the
past
few
years
have
made
abundantly
clear,
it’s
that
we
are
still
learning
tons
about
the
cannabis
plant
and
its
true
potential.
Despite
the
fact
that
humans
have
been
consuming
pot
in
one
form
or
another
for
millennia,
legal
barriers
to
research,
coupled
with
technological
breakthroughs
and
evolving
public
opinion,
means
we’ve
really
only
just
begun
to
scratch
the
surface.

Still,
with
thousands
of
years
of
history
to
cull
from

including
no
less
than


seven
Cheech
&
Chong
movies


there’s
a
glut
of
factoids
to
draw
on
when
it
comes
to
testing
one’s
marijuana
mettle.

Hoping
to
bring
an
informative
balance
of
fun
and
learning
to
the
discussion
is


“Daily
Bonfire,”

a
new
smartphone
app
featuring
hosts
like
Bay
Area
comic
Ngaio
Bealum
who
guide
contestants
through
twelve
multiple-choice
questions
about
cannabis.
Get
the
answer
right,
and
you
stay
in
the
game,
which
makes
you
eligible
to
win
a
cash
prize
of
$420.
Launched
for
iPhone
in
December,
the
app
is
expected
to
be
available
for
Android
later
this
year.

Players
are
currently
encouraged
to
prove
their
ganja
genius
three
times
a
week
on
Mondays,
Wednesdays,
and
Friday
at
1PM
PST
by
Bealum
and
fellows
hosts
Matt
Baetz
and
Alexis
Rutledge.
The
app
also
features
a
charitable
component,
with
a
collective
vote
held
at
the
beginning
of
each
session
to
decide
what
percentage
of
the
winnings
should
be
donated
to
one
of
three
esteemed
non-profits.

Released
by


HelloMD
,
company
founder
Mark
Hadfield
explains
that
the
app
has
value
both
as
a
marketing
mechanism
and
as
an
educational
tool,
with
the
importance
of
the
former
point
underscored
by
the
few
mainstream
advertising
options
currently
available
to
cannabis
brands.

“Marketing
in
cannabis
is
hard
because
most
companies
won’t
take
your
money,”
Hadfield
says.
“We
created
Daily
Bonfire
as
a
fun
way
for
consumers
to
interact
with
brands
and
retailers
as
they
shop
for
cannabis.
We
think
this
type
of
thing
is
the
next
evolution
of
how
retailers
and
brands
will
connect
with
consumers.”

At
the
center
of
it
all
is
Bealum,
52,
a
veteran
of
the
Bay
Area
comedy
scene
and
longtime
cannabis
activist
and
enthusiast.
Known
as
the
star
of


Netflix’s
“Cooking
on
High,”

Bealum
is
also
a
seasoned
cannabis
cup
emcee.
By
phone,
he
told
MERRY
JANE
about
what
it
means
to
be
a
weed
comic
today,
how
he
got
his
unusual
job,
and
the
irony
of
taping
a
show
about
pot
next
to
a
prison.

1579298403009_Ngaio.DailyBonfire.jpg


MERRY
JANE:
How
does
one
land
a
job
hosting
a
cannabis
trivia
app?


Ngaio
Bealum:

My
homie
Carlos
Rodriguez
is
a
very
funny
stand-up
comic,
and
he
had
an
audition
for
it.
He
actually
told
them
that
if
they
needed
someone
funny
who
knows
a
lot
about
weed,
they
should
call
me.
I
was
like,
“Yeah,
that’s
probably
a
good
idea.”
So,
we
got
together,
and
I
hooked
up
with
Pamela
and
Mark
and
all
the
beautiful
people
over
at
HelloMD,
and
we
just
went
from
there.
It’s
been
a
great
journey.
The
game
is
growing
by
leaps
and
bounds.
It’s
fun.
It’s
informational.
It’s
educational,
and
we
give
money
to
worthy
causes,
so
I
think
it’s
great
for
everyone.


Part
of
the
app
involves
users
voting
to
give
between
5
to
20
percent
of
the
winnings
to
either




NORML
,



MAPS
,
or
the




ACLU
.
What
do
they
usually
land
on?

In
general,
it
ends
up
being
10
or
15
percent.
I
don’t
think
we’ve
ever
gotten
past
17
percent

at
least
when
I’ve
hosted

but
no
one’s
ever
gone
for
the
bare
minimum
either.
It’s
always
usually
10
or
15
percent.


Those
are
some
really
fantastic
non-profits.

Definitely!
I
have
homies
at
NORML,
and
I
know
some
cats
at
MAPS,
too.
I
don’t
really
know
too
many
people
at
the
ACLU.
I
mean,
I
support
them
all
the
time

I
give
them
money
and
whatnot

but
I
can’t
say
I’ve
ever
really
hung
out
with
those
dudes.
I’ve
hung
out
with
the
MAPS
folks,
though.
Their
parties
are
psychedelic
as
shit.


I
would
hope
so.

For
real,
I
remember
this
party
at
a
house
that
looked
like
a
spaceship.
It
was
an
absolute
blast.
I’m
sure
they
are
appreciative
of
the
hundreds
of
dollars
we
send
them
every
week.

1579298582872_NgaioDailyBonfire.2.jpg


Still,
everything
helps!

I
think
it
was
Benjamin
Franklin
who
said,
“Do
well
by
doing
good.”
I
think
with
Daily
Bonfire,
we
are
also
helping
to
remind
people
that
cannabis
legalization
started
as
a
social
justice
thing.
It
started
as
a
way
to
increase
social
justice
and
personal
liberty
for
people,
and
we
can’t
forget
that
in
this
rush
where
it
seems
like
everyone
is
wearing
suits
and
opening
shops
that
look
like


fucking
Apple
stores

We
still
have
to
remember
that
there
are
people
still
going
to
jail
for
this.
Weed
is
still
illegal
in
Nebraska
and
Georgia
and
Texas
and
Idaho
and
all
of
these
other
places.
Just
because
we’re
fortunate
enough
to
live
on
the
West
Coast,
where
you
can
drive
from
San
Diego
to
Seattle
and
smoke
weed
the
whole
time,
it
doesn’t
mean
the
battle
is
over.
We
still
need
activism.
We
still
need
to
fight
for
what’s
right.
Also,
you
probably
shouldn’t
actually
smoke
weed
while
you
drive

unless
it’s
a
really
long
trip.


When
you’re
taping
the
show,
do
you
ever
learn
something
new
about
cannabis
as
a
result
of
the
questions?

I’m
always
surprised
when
someone
refers
to
me
as
a
weed
expert,
even
though
it
is
true.
I
do
have
a
lot
of
expertise
in
many
aspects
of
cannabis.
That
said,
I
still
feel
like
I’m
always
learning
and
always
growing,
which
is
really
supposed
to
be
the
point
of
everything.
Once
a
week
or
so,
I’ll
learn
something,
or
they’ll
hand
me
the
questions,
and
I’ll
make
a
suggestion
about
something.
If
that
happens,
then
everybody
jumps
into
research,
and
then
we
have
discussions.
It’s
always
nice
when
you
can
expand
your
knowledge.

1579298635878_highestscorewins$420.jpg


The
intersection
of
cannabis
and
your
career
in
comedy
go
way
back.
When
did
that
first
become
a
part
of
your
act?

When
I
first
started
in
comedy,
most
of
my
jokes
were
about
my
family
and
the
difference
between
men
and
women.
It
was
the
‘80s.
I
recently
found
an
old
videotape
of
a
set,
and
I
was
a
little
embarrassed.
I
was
hoping
there
might
be
a
few
gems
that
I’d
forgotten
about.
Nope,
it
was
all
dross.
But
you
talk
about
what
you
know,
right?
That’s
why
my
two
albums
are
called



Weed
and
Sex

and



Weedier
and
Sexier
.
I
didn’t
really
set
out
to
be
a
“weed”
comic,
but
it
just
kind
of
went
that
way.
I
actually
resisted
that
label
for
a
very
long
time
because
weed
wasn’t
legal
when
I
first
started
talking
about
it.
When
I
would
go
to
a
comedy
club,
they
wouldn’t
invite
me
back.
In
Reno,
I
mentioned
how
you
could
gamble
and
get
prostitutes,
but
if
you
got
found
with
a
seed
of
cannabis,
you
would
go
to
jail
for
10
years.
I
said
that
while
I
was
on
stage
in
the
casino,
and
they
were
very
unhappy
with
me.

We’ve
been
fighting
this
stigma
for
such
a
long
time.
My
whole
contention
has
always
been
that
I’m
not
doing
anything
wrong.
I
just
like
to
smoke
weed.
There’s
nothing
wrong
with
that.
That
is
not
an
aberration.
No
one
is
a
criminal
because
they
smoke
weed,
although
I
will
say
that
I
do
miss
being
a
little
bit
of
an
outlaw
sometimes.
That’s
OK,
though.
I’ve
just
got
to
figure
out
something
else
to
keep
my
roguish
reputation
intact.
 


Now
we’re
seeing
the
pendulum
swing
the
other
way:
You’re
on
Netflix,
you’re




guesting
on
Doug
Benson’s
cannabis
show
,
and
you’re
hosting
a
trivia
app
devoted
to
weed.

A
lot
of
the
same
cats
who
were
kind
of
down
on
me
are
now
telling
me
I
was
right.
That’s
nice
to
hear
them
say
now,
but
I’m
still
mad
because
I
missed
out
on
a
lot
of
things.
It
was
a
conscious
decision
to
be
that
way
after
a
while.
I
was
just
like,
“Fuck
it.
I’m
embracing
this
new
label
and
going
hard.”
Once
I
did
that,
I
found
I
was
actually
embraced
by
the
cannabis
community
even
more.
That
meant
I
didn’t
have
to
call
clubs
and
suck-up
for
gigs.
I
could
go
host
cannabis
cups
and
emcee
weed
festivals
and
all
this
other
stuff.

But
there’s
still
plenty
to
be
done,
you
know?
We
actually
tape
the “Daily
Bonfire”
show
in
Larkspur
[in
Marin
County].
We’re
actually
not
very
far
from
San
Quentin
Prison,
which
is
weird
when
you
think
about
all
of
the
people
who
are
still
in
jail
for
drug
offenses
while
we’re
out
there
smoking
weed
and
doing
trivia
shows.


You’ve
seen
cannabis
evolve
from
a
subculture
based
around
an
illegal
plant
to
this
mainstream,
lucrative
industry.
Do
you
still
feel
cannabis
is
a
subculture,
or
have
we
passed
that
point
now?

One
thing
I
like
to
say
is
that
cannabis
is
a
subculture
of
every
other
subculture.
For
every
group
of
people
who
like
a
certain
thing,
there’s
another
group
of
people
who
like
to
get
high
before
they
do
that
thing,
whether
it
be
listening
to
music
or
bowling
or
juggling.
Whatever
it
is,
there’s
another
group
of
people
who
like
to
get
stoned
and
then
do
it.

This
is
slightly
metaphysical,
I
suppose,
but
someone
pointed
out
to
me
that
when
you
smoke,
whether
it’s
a
joint
or
a
pipe
or
whatever,
everybody
stands
in
a
circle.
That
means
equality,
or
peerage,
like
the
Knights
of
the
Round
Table:
No
one
is
above
another.
When
more
people
show
up,
you
just
make
the
circle
bigger.
You
don’t
keep
anybody
out
of
the
circle.
Even
people
who
don’t
like
to
smoke
weed,
you
can
just
stand
in
the
circle
and
hang
out.
You
just
pass
the
joint
to
the
next
person.

I
just
like
the
inclusivity
of
cannabis
culture,
when
done
right.
I
mean,
a
lot
of
these
cats
who
are
getting
into
the
game
now
think
of
everything
as
a
zero-sum
game.
If
someone
else
is
making
money,
that’s
money
they’re
not
making,
which
is
not
true.
There’s
plenty
of
money
for
everybody
if
you
do
it
right.
This
concept
of
creating
monopolies
in
cannabis,
I
think,
is
antithetical
to
the
culture,
as
well
as
virtually
impossible.
Cannabis
has
been
decentralized
as
an
industry
for
umpteen
years.
Back
in
the
day,
you
weren’t
supposed
to
get
too
big
because
then
the
feds
would
come
get
you.
I
think
the
object
and
the
goal
for
me
would
be
to
have
lots
and
lots
of
smaller
farms
creating
great
quality
cannabis
full
of
love
and
care
and
respect
for
the
community
and
the
environment,
as
opposed
to
a
bunch
of
cheap,
mid-grade
crap
on
the
shelves.

Also,
Daily
Bonfire
is
a
great
game,
and
everyone
should
play
it
every
week
on
Monday,
Wednesday
and
Fridays.
Play
three
times
a
week!


To
cash
in
on
getting
cashed,
download
Daily
Bonfire
at
the




Apple
Store


Follow
comedian
Ngaio
Bealum
on




Twitter


Follow
Zack
Ruskin
on




Twitter

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