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Published: Thu, May 16, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

NEWSMAKERS

Chong says legalized pot could save U.S.

NEW YORK

The Grammy Award-winning comedy duo Cheech and Chong based their 42-year career on counterculture humor with a particular emphasis on marijuana use. But these days, Tommy Chong sees the recreational drug as something more than fodder for jokes about stoned hippies.

The 74-year-old comedian thinks legalizing marijuanaSFlbon a federal level would offer numerous benefits, including a boost to the U.S. economy if it were taxed.

“Look at the situation we’re in now. Sequesters. Cuts. Everything cut across the board. Now, the government is tapped into the biggest cash crop in the world,” Chong said. “There’s little manufacturing cost. You don’t have to do anything except watch it grow and get a couple of hippies to cut it and then put it in a bag.”

Pitt: It was important for Jolie to go public

NEW YORK

Brad Pitt says it was important for his partner, Angelina Jolie, to share her story about having her breasts removed to avoid cancer “and that others would understand it doesn’t have to be a scary thing.”

In an interview publishedSFlbWednesday in USA Today, the actor said: “In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and makes us stronger.”

Jolie revealed Tuesday in an op-ed article in The New York Times that she had a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction for an inherited gene mutation that put her at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Pitt called the experience “an emotional and beautifully inspiring few months.”

Dr. Dre donates $70M for USC center

LOS ANGELES

The new Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy at the University of Southern California will offer a curriculum aimed to help young innovators create the next iPod or Facebook.

The hip-hop mogul best known as Dr. Dre and the co-founder of Interscope Records appeared Wednesday alongside USC President C. L. Max Nikias to announce the program funded by a $70 million donation by the two music superstars.

ACLU: Gay couple on ‘Family’ should wed

NEW YORK

The ACLU is lobbying for the gay couple on “Modern Family” to get married.

ACLU Action started a campaign to urge the show’s producers to write a wedding episode for Mitchell and Cameron, fathers of an adopted child and one of three couples at the heart of the show.

The ACLU is appealing to the fictional family to draw more attention to the real issue as it awaits Supreme Court decisions on two important marriage- equality cases.

Supporters are invited to “RSVP” to the wedding online.

The ACLU plans to deliver the online “guest list” to the show’s producers but said it had not yet contacted the show.

Jessie Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell, tweeted: “Love this! Thank you ACLU! Maybe once Prop 8 is overturned!”

Vindicator wire services


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