The California Connection

As a joke, it drew great guffaws. "The biggest moneymaker in Hollywood last year was Colombia," quipped Johnny Carson during the 1981 Oscar awards ceremony. "Not the studio—the country." There is considerable truth in the jest: though used throughout the U.S., cocaine remains an especially apt symbol for the affluent Southern California lifestyle. If John De Lorean's alleged shipment of 220 lbs. had indeed made its way into the Los Angeles marketplace, it would have found buyers

easily enough. "That's not a great amount for this area," says Captain Robert Blanchard, commanding officer of...

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