Opinion

Marijuana, kids, Newsom and the California Medical Association

On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Our take

Editorial

Just because marijuana is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe: Asked whether marijuana should be legal for adults in California, voters answered with a resounding “yes” in November. But that doesn’t mean the matter is completely settled. And it definitely doesn’t mean voters support marijuana use by minors.

Columns

Scott Lebar: Sacramento Bee photographer and videographer Manny Crisostomo is not a selfie kind of guy. I do have a picture of him and colleague Lezlie Sterling hard at work – sitting, heads leaning together, eyes closed, pretending to sleep while they waited for the outcome of the surgery of conjoined twins Erika and Eva Sandoval. In jest, he did a rare thing, asking reporter Sammy Caiola to turn the camera around on him. He is a funny kind of guy.

Jessica Levinson: As Donald Trump promises to drain the swamp, new issues emerge. There is nothing wrong with making money. The problem is when people with money use outsize influence over elected representatives, who are supposed to make decisions that benefit all their constituents, not just their benefactors. What creatures emerge from The Swamp.

Ben Boychuk: California’s new gun control laws deserve contempt, not compliance. Don’t blame gun owners if they ignore a new ban on some ammunition.

Andrew Malcolm: In an age of instant communications, we get annoyed if we must wait 30 minutes for a reply. Andy is still awaiting replies to messages he launched decades ago – in bottles.

Op-eds

Tom Epstein: Americans do not want a partisan dismantling of Obamacare. Their primary complaint is that health care costs too much. And for good reason. Republicans should focus on health care issues that matter, like skyrocketing costs.

John Chiang: California’s coastline is a treasure and economic development engine, so the state has reason to worry what will happen under Donald Trump. Why we should be worried about California’s coast.

Jim Gonzalez: To solve the marijuana banking issue, Treasurer John Chiang should seek legislation to establish a new account. It would become the depository for the proceeds from legal sales of cannabis. Bringing the cash crop into the financial mainstream.

Take a number: 41,575

In 1997, 6,933 Latinos applied for admission to University of California campus. This year, the number is 41,575, an astonishing increase that far outpaces Asians, whites and African Americans, the online journalism site CalMatters reports. The rising number of applications clearly is a mark of success. You can’t get in unless you apply. Alas, Latinos’ admission rate still lags at 56 percent, compared with Asians’ 73 percent acceptance rate.

Their take

George Soros, Project Syndicate: The formative experience of my life was the occupation of Hungary by Adolf Hitler’s Germany in 1944. I probably would have perished had my father not understood the gravity of the situation. ... Democracy is now in crisis. Even the U.S., the world’s leading democracy, elected a con artist and would-be dictator as its president. Although Donald Trump has toned down his rhetoric since he was elected, he has changed neither his behavior nor his advisers. His Cabinet comprises incompetent extremists and retired generals. What lies ahead?

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: The world’s leading tech companies have put a wealth of information at our fingertips through smartphones, tablets and laptops. The price of portability, however, is complicity in human rights abuses, including child labor. That must change, and quickly, for both moral and political reasons.

L.A. Times: Donald Trump should lend his support to perennial efforts in Congress – most recently in a bill called The Equality Act – to protect employees in the private sector from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. If he meant what he said in his acceptance speech about protecting “our LGBTQ citizens,” he can do no less. Protecting gay, lesbian and transgender Americans involves more than shielding them from terrorism; it also means affording them a right to earn a living without fear of discrimination.

Miami Herald: As if 2016 hasn’t been acrimonious enough: Now, in the closing days of the Barack Obama administration, a bitter public brawl has broken out with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – one likely out of frustration over the failure of a U.S.-brokered Middle East peace pact to take hold during President Obama’s presidency.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: For all of the discomfort John Kerry’s blunt talk is causing in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu merely has to wait another three weeks to hear a Trump administration tune far more to his liking. The tune may change, but the dangerous realities Kerry described won’t.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Donald Trump should recognize that the U.S.-Israel alliance does not mean a blank check for policies that preclude a two-state solution to the seemingly eternal Israel-Palestine issue. In fact, Trump has an opportunity unique to incoming presidents: As a perceived preferred alternative to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, he can press Israel toward a lasting agreement rather than regress toward the one-state status preferred by right-wing members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Syndicates’ take

Charles Krauthammer: President Obama stabbed Israel in the back by allowing the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condemning settlements on occupied lands.

Eugene Robinson: With a two-state solution all but dead, what kind of democracy will Israel be?

Thomas L. Friedman: Benjamin Netanyahu makes Donald Trump his chump.

Gail Collins: A year-end quiz on all the 2016 silliness.

Mailbag

High cost of Sacramento parking will hurt businesses. John T. Johnston, Sacramento

And finally,

We’ll see you on Jan. 3. Happy New Year. We’re ever hopeful here at The Take.

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