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Drug-Smuggler-Turned-Author, "Mr. Nice's" Howard Marks Dead at 70

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Howard Marks, the celebrated drug smuggler turned author, has died at the age of 70, after suffering from bowel cancer for little more than a year.

    Howard Marks arriving at the UK premiere of the movie adaptation of Mr Nice in 2010. Ian West / PA WIRE
    Marks was arrested for cannabis smuggling in Spain in 1988 by the American Drug Enforcement Agency after eluding the authorities for decades. He was sentenced to 25 years in jail for his prolific, global activity in the drug trade.

    But he was released after seven years due to good behaviour before rising to fame with his autobiography Mr Nice, published in 1996. The book told stories of the drugs underworld and prison life and became a bestseller. It was later made into a film starring Rhys Ifans and was the subject of Marks’ one-man show, An Audience With Mr Nice.

    He said of the book: “Through a plethora of media interviews and several public book readings, it became clear that the predominant reason why so many adolescents and university students read and enjoyed Mr Nice was their frustration with the law prohibiting cannabis consumption and trade. "Until then, I had no idea of the extraordinary extent of cannabis use by young people today.” Marks, from Bridgend county in Wales, became a campaigner for drug law reform and stood for parliament in 1997 on a single-issue ticket of cannabis legalisation. He also guested on songs by Welsh indie luminaries Super Furry Animals and appeared at Glastonbury festival and on TV shows including Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

    Marks announced in January 2015 that he was suffering from inoperable bowel cancer. He told The Observer at the time: “I’ve come to terms with it in my own way – which for me was about learning how to cry. “It’s impossible to regret any part of my life when I feel happy and I am happy now, so I don’t have any regrets and have not had any for a very long time.”

    By Patrick Smith - BuzzFeed/April 11 2016
    Photo: Ian West
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. ianzombie
    Re: Drug-Smuggler-Turned-Author, "Mr. Nice's" Howard Marks Dead at 70's

    But cannabis kills and cures cancer.........*rolls eyes*
    I'm waiting for the excuses from the CCC (Cannabis Cures Cancer) lobby.
  2. Blueskys
    God bless you Howard. R.I.P
  3. prescriptionperil
    Yeah right, cannabis cures cancer. A long time cannabis smoking friend has espogeal and stomach cancer.
    Although, cannabis can ease the side effects from chemotherapy. I'm a realistic medical marijuana patient.

    Regarding Mr. Marks, he had strong connections to organized crime, which speaks for legalization,
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