International drug smuggler, cannabis advocate, and best-selling author Howard Marks, also known as Mr Nice, died earlier today of cancer. He was 70 years old.
A legend in Cannabis and progressive drug legislation culture, Marks shot to fame in 1996 when his book Mr Nice was released to international acclaim. Detailing his storied relationship with the urb and his wheeling and dealing shifting enormous quantities of it around the world, the book made a cult folk hero out of Marks and made him the pin up for the Cannabis legalization movement that has gathered considerable steam in the past 15 years.
Marks, who was born Dennis Howard Marks in Kenfig Hill, Wales in 1945, read physics at the University of Oxford before dropping out to smuggle cannabis globally. He reportedly shipped consignments as large as 30 tons at his peak, and was eventually caught by the DEA and handed a 25 year sentence at a maximum security prison in 1988. He served seven years, and published Mr. Nice upon his release.
In January 2015 it was announced that Marks had inoperable colon cancer. It seemed fitting that he should be struck with an illness often medicated with cannabis.
“The strange thing is I haven’t actually felt a moment’s depression at all," Marks told the Observer last year. "I feel people have come back from a lot worse than this, and it’s about trying to resume a normal routine as soon as possible … and just carry on living."
Skin one up for Mr. Nice tonight.