Monthly Archives: February 2019


Marijuana’s new crop of consumers has been less than anticipated. Nobody said it’d be easy, but nobody anticipated it’d be quite this hard to get Californians to buy legal weed. That’s been the dominant takeaway from the Golden State’s first year of legalized recreational marijuana sales.

The N.Y. Times recently reported on how the promised flourishing cannabis economy and corresponding tax windfall haven’t materialized.

Actually, sales fell! About $2.5 billion of legal cannabis was sold in California in 2018, which was half a billion dollars less than the year before, when just medical marijuana was legal, the sales tracking firm GreenEdge found.

A report from Areview Market Research and BDS Analytics recently estimated that spending growth on legal cannabis will speed up this year, hitting almost $17 billion worldwide, and ballooning to $31.3 billion in 2022.

In its annual State of Cannabis report, the cannabis delivery platform Eaze highlighted that the market is rapidly expanding beyond young men—even if, as Peter Gigante, the company’s head of policy research, noted, one in five people surveyed admitted to buying from an unlicensed source in the last three months.

“I think there’s a lot of focus on getting consumers into the legal market,” he said.

Part of that will certainly involve tailoring products especially to new consumers, who may not have been willing to try out cannabis when it wasn’t legal. So who are those new consumers? Here are some of the stats from Eaze’s report, which was based on data from 450,000 buyers and about 4,000 survey respondents.

25 percent

That’s how much the number of baby boomer—or age 50 or older—consumers grew last year, making them one of the fastest growing demographics for cannabis use.


That’s how much baby boomers spent each month, on average—the most of any age demographic. (By comparison: Generation X-ers spent $89.24, millennials spent $72.94 and members of Generation Z spent $62.35.) Millennials are still the biggest group of Eaze customers, though.

38 percent

That’s the percentage of cannabis consumers who are women. Mr. Gigante predicted that by 2022 it’d be 50-50.

Female and baby boomer cannabis consumers, the report found, are driving a surge in CBD oils and more wellness-oriented products.

In fact, the report found, the share of consumers who primarily use CBD products are baby boomer women: 21 percent.

Although no actual numbers were apparently available, the expected tax revenues were off substantially. That is one of the primary reasons so much cannabis is purchased on the black market. There are no 25% taxes.
There may be other reasons as well. Next week I’ll tell you about my personal experience with the cannabis community.

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President Trump declared a state of emergency regarding illegal immigration across our southern border. I’m not at all sure if a “national emergency” was ever really defined except to give that power to our presidents.

To my way of thinking, an emergency is when our nation is attacked, or when I accidentally cut myself and might bleed enough to pass out, or when someone tells me in the car that they must go now and there’s no bathroom in sight.

Emergencies are not usually long-term, well-known situations that, while thorny, are well understood. Which brings us back to President Trump and the budget deal that didn’t give him the cash he wanted for the border wall.

Is the emergency that several hundred thousand illegal immigrants cross the land border with Mexico, or that Congress didn’t provide the money that the president wanted to build more wall?

I’ve got an answer: Neither! These aren’t emergencies, they’re failures…of Congress.

As I recall, illegal immigration has been a point of contention for at least thirty years and resulted in the McClellan Act in the 1980s that granted amnesty and was supposed to fund border security that would end illegal immigration. Amnesty we got; border structures to stop illegal immigration, not much.

By the time we got to the end of the 1990s, we had up to a million immigrants a year jumping the border. We started building more wall and fence in the mid-2000s, and it does work.

But the real thing that dropped illegal immigration to “just” a few hundred thousand people a year was the financial crisis. When the opportunity faded, so did the desire to go through the hassle of entering the country illegally.

None of this falls under the strict definition of an emergency, except for the creation of caravans of thousands of illegals funded by wigged-out, open-border liberals.

Immigration is important, no doubt, and should be dealt with. That’s the job of Congress. Or rather, it was. Now the job is to posture until the next election while banking pay that puts them in the top 10% of wage earners and building up a pension. Awesome!

This covers both sides of the aisle.

You might not know it, but we have 31 other states of emergency already in place. They cover everything from an emergency declared on September 14, 2001 by reason of certain terrorist attacks, to Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi, which was declared in 2015.

In fact, many of our current states of emergency have to do with blocking property transfers of people we don’t like in places like South Sudan, Venezuela, Libya, Somalia, and, of course, North Korea.

We even have a declared emergency against transactions with terrorists that interfere with the Middle East Peace Process. Hmm! Does that include sending aid to Hamas, the terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip?

Again, these efforts might be important, but that hardly makes them an emergency. Just as with the border wall funding, presidents declare most of these things as emergencies because they can’t get them passed in Congress.

I feel the pain of the presidents. We can’t get much of anything passed in Congress, and they should all be fired for it. But that doesn’t mean that we should allow any one or any group to bypass the legislature and take unilateral action. That will end badly, to say the least. We definitely have a crisis, whether it’s an emergency or not is maybe somewhat academic.

Something needs to be done to start dealing with the situation. If the president can get enough barriers built to control all the illegal entries, maybe we (Congress) can start to deal realistically with the rest of the illegal immigration problem.

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As we approach President’s Day, it’s interesting to note how and why so many Americans know so little about their country. Later we’ll give you some interesting facts about our presidents.

A recent study by “Newsweek” asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take the same test that is given to foreigners who want to become American citizens. By the way, about 92 percent of citizenship applicants passed that test so immigrants do well. But we, the people, do not.

Among U.S. citizens, 29 percent could not name Vice President Mike Pence; 43 percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights; 40 percent do not know America fought Japan and Germany in World War II; 73 percent do not know communism was the main concern of the Cold War; and 67 percent of American citizens do not know that our economic system is capitalism. That’s a disaster!

So what’s going on? First, it’s quite clear that the public school system is a main culprit. It’s no longer teaching history, geography or civics in an effective way. I’m generalizing; I know there are some good schools but most public schools could not care less about instructing young Americans how their country works.

Number two: The internet has created a generation of self-absorbed, addicted, distracted and ignorant people. The powerful machines, hand-held many of them, are diverting a lot of Americans away from real life. You can now create your own world on the net devoid of reality—and millions of Americans are doing that. The result is that a very few shrewd people are now wielding enormous power.

Many Americans are voting for what they can get, not for what is best for this nation—and both the Republican and Democratic parties know it.

Next we’ll turn to a little factual history about our presidents. Although this was designed as a test, most of us won’t be able to answer elementary school questions, so we’ll just give you the answers in parenthesis after each question.

Presidential Superlatives

Which president served the longest? a. George Washington, b. Franklin Roosevelt, c. Theodore Roosevelt, or d. Herbert Hoover (B)

Which president served the least time in office? a. James Garfield, b. Gerald Ford, c. William Henry Harrison, or d. Zachary Taylor (C)

Who was the youngest president to occupy the White House? a. Theodore Roosevelt, b. John Kennedy, c. Bill Clinton, or d. Ulysses Grant (A)

Who was the oldest president at the time he was first elected to office? a. Richard Nixon, b. William Henry Harrison, c. John Adams, or d. Ronald Reagan (D)

Who was the tallest president? a. Abraham Lincoln, b. Barack Obama, c. Lyndon Johnson, or d. Bill Clinton (A)

Who was the shortest president? a. John Adams, b. John Quincy Adams, c. Chester Arthur, or d. James Madison (D)

Presidential Nicknames

Match the president to the nickname: 1. John Adams (G), 2. William Henry Harrison (E), 3. Andrew Johnson (B), 4. Theodore Roosevelt (A), 5. Ronald Reagan (C), 6. James Buchanan (D), 7. John Quincy Adams (F)—A. The hero of San Juan Hill, B. The Tennessee tailor, C. Dutch, D. The bachelor president, E. Tippecanoe, F. Old man eloquent, G. His rotundity

Which president married a woman more than five years older than he? a. George Washington, b. Millard Fillmore, c. Warren Harding, or d. Richard Nixon (C)

Which president was divorced prior to being elected? a. Franklin Roosevelt, b. Gerald Ford, c. Chester Arthur, or d. Ronald Reagan (D)

Which president gave his wife 52 pairs of socks to darn upon their marriage: a. Richard Nixon, b. Herbert Hoover, c. Calvin Coolidge, or d. George Washington (C)

Family Matters

The father of which president wrote on his son’s Harvard application that the young scholar was “careless and lacks application”: a. John Quincy Adams, b. Zachary Taylor, or c. John Kennedy (C)

Which president said, after his unruly daughter interrupted a White House meeting, “I can be president of the United States or I can control [my daughter]. I cannot possibly do both”? a. Harry Truman, b. Theodore Roosevelt, c. Ronald Reagan, or d. Bill Clinton (B)

The mother of which president fretted that her son had no sense of time and would “delay and delay and delay,” frequently keeping people waiting? a. George Washington, b. Thomas Polk, c. William Henry Harrison, or d. Bill Clinton (D)


Which president said in an interview after leaving office: “Some of the presidents were great and some of them weren’t. I can say that because I wasn’t one of the great presidents”? a. Martin Van Buren, b. Chester Arthur, c. Harry Truman, or d. George W. Bush (C)

Which president lost the White House china in a poker game? A. Benjamin Harrison, b. Grover Cleveland, c. Chester Arthur, or d. Warren Harding (B)

Which president skinny-dipped in the Potomac? a. Abraham Lincoln, b. John Quincy Adams, c. Theodore Roosevelt, or d. Gerald Ford (B)

The younger generations must learn more about our history in order to find our values and the fabric of our economic system.

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Next Tuesday will be the 210th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. He was with us for only 56 years, but his contributions and influence have had enormous effects on our country for all the years since.

He came from the humblest of beginnings; born in a one-room log cabin, he rose to 6’4” tall and through his career as a lawyer, debater and activist to abolish slavery, he became the 16th president of the United States.

Work colleagues and friends noted that Lincoln had a capacity to defuse tense and argumentative situations, though the use of humor and his capacity to take an optimistic view of human nature. He loved to tell stories to illustrate a serious point through the use of humor and parables, he said of himself.

“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

His political career appeared to suffer after one term in the House of Representatives. He returned to working as a lawyer in Illinois. The slavery question re-emerged as a prominent divisive national issue.

He gave influential speeches, which drew on the Declaration of Independence to prove the Founding Fathers had intended to stop the spread of slavery. In particular, Lincoln used a novel argument that although society was a long way from equality, America should aspire towards the lofty statement in the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are creative equal.”

In 1858, Lincoln was nominated as Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. He undertook a series of high-profile debates with the Democratic incumbent Stephen Douglass. Douglass was in favor of allowing the expansion of slavery—Lincoln was opposed. During this campaign, he gave one of his best-remembered speeches, which reflected on the divisive nature of America.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”

Although he lost his Senate election, his debating skills and oratory helped him to become well known within the Republican party.

After a hard-fought, divisive campaign in 1860, Lincoln was elected the first Republican President of the United States. Lincoln’s support came entirely from the North and West of the country. The south strongly disagreed with Lincoln’s position on slavery.

The election of Lincoln as President sparked the South to secede from the Union. Southern independence sentiment had been growing for many years, and the election of a president opposed to slavery was the final straw. Lincoln resolutely opposed the breakaway of the South, and this led to the American civil war with Lincoln committed to preserving the Union.

Lincoln surprised many by including in his cabinet the main rivals from the 1860 Republican campaign. It demonstrated Lincoln’s willingness and ability to work with people of different political and personal approaches. This helped to keep the Republican party together.

The Civil War was much more costly than many people anticipated. Lincoln’s patient leadership, and willingness to work with unionist Democrats held the country together.

Initially, the war was primarily about the secession of southern states and the survival of the Union, but as the war progressed, Lincoln increasingly made the issue of ending slavery paramount.

In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared the freedom of slaves within the Confederacy.

Celebrating the victory ceremony at Gettysburg in November 1863, Lincoln declared:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceive in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

After four years, the Federal forces secured the surrender of the defeated South. The union had been saved and the issue of slavery had been brought to a head.

In the aftermath of the civil war, Lincoln sought to reunited the country—offering a generous settlement to the South.


Five days after the surrender of the Confederate Army, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth while visiting Ford’s Theater. Lincoln’s death was widely mourned across the country.


Lincoln is widely regarded as one of America’s most influential and important presidents. As well as saving the Union and promoting Republican values, Lincoln was viewed as embodying the ideals of honesty and integrity.

You Must Visit the Lincoln Memorial

I believe it is the most impressive of all monuments in Washington, D.C. It stands beside the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. It is not only one of the nation’s most beloved monuments but also one of its most widely publicized, by virtue of the fact that it appears on the back of every penny and every five-dollar bill. The cornerstone of the majestic temple, built of white Colorado marble in the style of a flat-roofed Greek temple.

The thirty-six Doric columns surrounding the monument symbolize the thirty-six states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. Inside, a colossal statue of a seated Lincoln, carved from blocks of white Georgia marble, looks east toward the Washington monument and Capitol Building. The statue by Daniel Chester French is nineteen feet high, weighing 175 tons, is the second most famous sculpture in America, after the Statue of Liberty. (Look at a penny with a magnifying glass, and you can see a tiny representation of the statue engraved.

Two of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, are inscribed on the memorial’s walls.

It’s a moving site.

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