I smoked weed before it was legal: 1 Chicano, BD (before dispensaries)

By John Edward Rangel

Smoking cannabis became a regular form of medication for me when I was 15 years old. That was in 1977. Back then the U.S.A. was still reeling from the Vietnam War, Watergate and something the media referred to as “The Generation Gap” (we called it arguing with our parents).

These were trying, confusing times (much like now), and for a teenaged Chicano in East L.A. who had to deal with the added effects of institutionalized rascism (big white cops called us “Pancho” and beat us with gusto) it was sometimes overwhelming. Getting numb helped me cope.

Almost every adult I knew medicated on something.

Mas…I smoked weed before it was legal: 1 Chicano, BD (before dispensaries)

To live and die in CA: Your ZIP Code determines life expectancy (video)

Deb and Maria are the same age, each has two kids, and they live just a few miles apart. Deb, however, will live, on average, 15 years longer than Maria. This public service video from The California Endowment — narrated by George Takei — explains the discrepancy:

What determines how long we live? The surprising thing to us was that adjacent communities can have a 15 year-difference in life expectancy.

Mas…To live and die in CA: Your ZIP Code determines life expectancy (video)

El Chapo Chronicles: Too many Guzmans confuse New Jersey Jews’ news

dudeballoonwrongguzman(PNS reporting from LAKEWOOD, NJ) The story was confusing for the few Ultra-Orthodox Jews who get their world news from The Lakewood Shopper, a free “penny saver” community weekly newspaper published here.

The Shopper mistakenly included a photo of actor Luis Guzman in a story about Mexico’s arrest of drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Mas…El Chapo Chronicles: Too many Guzmans confuse New Jersey Jews’ news

Breaking: Drugs disappear from Texas after El Chapo’s arrest

lemonelchapo(PNS reporting from McALLEN, TX) Police departments throughout the Rio Grande Valley delivered pink slips en masse this week following news that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán had been captured by Mexican authorities in the resort town of Mazatlan.

“It’s kind of a mixed bag for us,” Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño said. “On the one hand, illegal drugs are now utterly and completely vanquished from our streets. On the other, (Hidalgo County) Commissioners Court has already cut our budget for next year by 90 percent.”

Treviño, who was reached while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, responded to Guzmán’s capture like many of his counterparts at all levels of law enforcement nationwide: by quietly folding his office’s entire narcotics unit and slashing the rest of the criminal investigations division from a staff of hundreds down to five full-time deputies.

Mas…Breaking: Drugs disappear from Texas after El Chapo’s arrest

Niños Incómodos/Uncomfortable Kids: ‘Mexico must change’ (videos)

“If this is the future that awaits me, I don’t want it,” said the girl in this commercial that ran before last year’s Mexican presidential elections. “Enough of working for your political parties instead of working for us. Enough of cosmetic changes.” Almost everyone said they agreed.

How’s that working out for you, Mexico?

Mas…Niños Incómodos/Uncomfortable Kids: ‘Mexico must change’ (videos)

Breaking: Congress to probe ‘illegal immigrant sneaker code’

(PNS reporting from WASHINGTON, D.C.) Rep. Randolph Snopes (R-AL) plans committee hearings next week to investigate reports that “illegal immigrants” from Mexico are encoding secret messages in sneakers hanging over telephone wires — messages about how to avoid police, sell drugs and promote terrorism, PNS has learned.

Snopes, chairman of the Unamerican Activities Committee, maintains that evidence of  “sneaker-encoded propaganda” has been covered up by “high echelons of the Obama Administration,” according to leaked committee documents circulating on Capitol Hill.

Mas…Breaking: Congress to probe ‘illegal immigrant sneaker code’

Guns, drugs, a plane – three men on ‘La Cañada (The Cliff)’ [video]

La Cañada (The Cliff) A film by Carlo Corea. Spanish with English subtitles (Spanish dialog NSFW if people at work don’t like Spanish adult language.)

Emilio and Nicolás, two drug dealers, are filling up their private plane with packages of cocaine in the Mexican mountains when a peasant stumbles into their operation. The Indio asks for a ride to the other side of the cliff.

The decision divides Nico (the boss) and Emilio (his helper), who must face the consequences of their decisions.

Mas…Guns, drugs, a plane – three men on ‘La Cañada (The Cliff)’

Drug cartel shoot-out recycling means big business for one border town

The Model Six plays the 'Steve Jobs chord'

(PNS reporting from BAJA NALGAS) The narcotraficante shoot-outs in this border town typically take 30 or 40 seconds. A discerning listener might notice — amid the screams, the pop-pop-pop of semiautomatic pistol fire and the distinctive rat-a-tat-tat of submachineguns — the jingle-jangle-jingle of spent brass cartridges hitting the street.

When the smoke clears, survivors, if any, are taken to the hospital and the dead are carted to the morgue. A city crew hoses off the blood and the police let traffic through.

And then the kids come — a pack of boys, tween scavengers. They methodically retrieve the brass shells left on the street and take them back to Guinchimes del Sud, a local manufacturer of wind chimes, where the spent 9mm pistol and AK-47 submachinegun ammunition “brass” is recycled into musical metal sculptures that get shipped to breeze buffs in America.

But as demand for wind chimes on the U.S. side of the Rio Culero improves, Guinchimes’ path to future success is blowing in the wind.

Mas…Drug cartel shoot-out recycling means big business for one border town

4/20 Video: Lawrence Welk is ‘One Toke Over the Line’

In one of the most bizarre episodes ever run on the super square Lawrence Welk TV variety show, the ensemble presents their feel-good version of Brewer & Shipleys’ One Toke Over the Line.

I know, right? What were they thinking? Why is the under-conductor coughing like he sparked a harsh nug? Is the band giggling in the background? Did Welk think it was some kind of gospel tune?

Colombia hails Secret Service bust: We’re not just for drogas anymore!

There was no indication Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was involved

(PNS reporting from CARTAGENA) Top officials of Colombia’s Ministry of Tourism are high on happiness after the weekend recall of U.S. Secret Service officers caught in a prostitution scandal.

“Hookers? We love it,” Assistant Minister Rogerio Flauta said Monday. “It shows the world we have more to offer than drugs, guns and murder. Sex is always good for business! And hookers good enough for U.S. Federales? Can you say ‘organic search results?’ I knew that you could.”

“This is all new to us, and we need help.” he told reporters. “After careful consideration, we’re reaching out to Thailand, which artfully managed its transition from the home of high-potency marijuana “Thai sticks” to the top Asian destination for underage sex tourism. We’ve got a lot to learn.”

Mas…Colombia hails Secret Service bust: We’re not just for drogas anymore!

From Coldrank for Trayvon: ‘Black Man’ (music video)

Citing Malcom X, MLK and Michael Jackson, rapper Coldrank‘s Black Man explores, shall we say, discrepancies in society’s treatment of blacks killing blacks, blacks killing whites and whites killing blacks. And those that don’t learn from history, he reminds us, are doomed to repeat it. Directed by Joe Mexican.