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Opinion L.A. Observations and provocations from the Times' Opinion Staff
Drug warriors are still crying 'reefer madness.' The facts don't support them

In their op-ed article against cannabis legalization, former drug czar William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn yearn for a time when fear-mongering, not facts, drove the marijuana policy debate in America. Those days are over.

Bennett and Leibsohn blame the "marijuana lobby" for re-shaping the way Americans think about what they consider to be a truly dangerous drug. But the reality is that voters' views...

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Why Kamala Harris needed to stand up to murderous antigay initiative

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris rightly wants to snuff out the hateful "Sodomite Suppression Act" -- which basically calls for the mass murder of all gay men and women in the state -- before it can gather enough signatures to make the ballot. In a blog post Friday, The Times' Mariel Garza argues that Harris is overreacting to the bigoted ballot measure, which she said would be better left to...

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They're Palestinians, not 'Israeli Arabs'

Can you imagine reading an editorial in a respected newspaper today discussing the rights of "Negroes" or "Chinamen"? Probably not. And yet, like other newspapers in this country, The Times continues to use the generic term "Arabs" or "Israeli Arabs" to refer to the Palestinians who live inside Israel, falsely distinguishing them from the Palestinians who live in the territories occupied by Israel...

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Exactly what California needs: A new, science-focused UC school

Thousands of applicants with high school grade-point averages above 4.0 are rejected from UC Berkeley and UCLA each year through no fault of their own. It's a hard thing for parents to explain to their kids, who did everything they were supposed to do and yet were turned away thanks to the lack of space in California's top public universities. Many students end up paying more to attend comparably...

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Sugar in food is poorly labeled, and the industry likes it that way

A wild animal is never more dangerous than when it is cornered. And Big Sugar is lashing out with all the sweet venom it can muster in response to the latest attacks on the iniquities of the American diet. These attacks are now seemingly coming from all directions.

Scientists have now demonstrated not just correlation, but causation for sugar and diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease and tooth...

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Scuttle the exploitative 99-Seat Theatre Plan and pay actors minimum wage

It seems like a straightforward question with an equally straightforward answer: Should actors earn at least minimum wage?

Surprisingly, a bitter dispute has broken out in the Los Angeles theatre community over an actors union proposal that would for the first time require performers in small theatres -- those with 99 or fewer seats -- to be paid at least the California minimum wage of $9 an hour. These...

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