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Medical Cannabis: God’s gift

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NIC HAAG Guest Columnist We have been told for nearly a century nothing good ever comes from cannabis. It leads to sloth-like behavior in some, “the munchies” in others. It even induces homicidal mania in a few, if the movie “Reefer Madness” is to be believed. Let’s talk about the…

State budget should move NC forward

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As legislators return to town, hopes aren’t high for Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. It’s a modest spending plan that includes election-year pay hikes and bonuses, but it’s hardly the blueprint for a state on the rise. It’s about keeping North Carolina’s…

OUR VIEW — Cancel the contract

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State lawmakers should cancel the Interstate 77 toll contract. Immediately. Yesterday. According to a Charlotte Observer story published on Monday, two Mecklenburg County lawmakers have filed bills that will do just that — Rep. Charles Jeter, a Huntersville Republican, and Rep. Tricia Cotham, a Matthews Democrat. Yes, canceling the contract…

Road policies deserve attention

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist When you ask North Carolina voters to name the top election issue in state politics, the most common answer — unless we are in the midst of a recession — is education. That answer makes good sense. North Carolina state and local governments combined spend more…

NC governor is selling mediocrity

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PATRICK McHUGH Guest Columnist Governor Pat McCrory is trying to convince everyone that, thanks to his team’s leadership, our economy is in great shape. In defending a largely status quo budget for next year, the governor is clearly happy with where North Carolina is economically, and thinks that he deserves…

A coach’s lesson

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Recently, I watched a kids’ baseball scrimmage. A few innings into the game, a kid walked up to the field, apparently with his dad. The dad looked dirty, like he had just gotten off work as a mechanic. The kid wore shorts and a T-shirt that was…

OUR VIEW — A last-ditch effort

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Here’s hoping the John Kasich-Ted Cruz cooperation pact doesn’t come to be too little, too late. The Republican presidential nomination contenders announced on Sunday that “they had agreed to divide key remaining primary states between them, giving each a better chance to stop Donald Trump head-to-head and force a contested…

For Republicans, no history of backing down

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist Since taking control of the state House and Senate in 2011, Republicans on Jones Street have weathered their fair share of criticism – and that may be the understatement of the decade. They’ve been deemed heartless. They’ve been called racists, bigots and homophobes. They’ve endured sit-ins…

Budget restraint creates options

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist “My problem,” the notoriously reckless actor Errol Flynn once quipped, “lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.” When it comes to state budgeting, too many governors and legislators across the country have indulged their own gross habits, such as buying votes with unfunded…

America should stop paying to defend the world

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DOUG BANDOW Guest Columnist Donald Trump is a genius for gaining media attention. Sometimes his opinions also reflect basic common sense. Consider his complaint that Washington’s prosperous allies in Asia and Europe don’t pay enough in return. Defenders of the status quo contend that it is in America’s interest to…