Howard Marks

smuggler, author, cannabis, marijuana, hashish, drug trade, dealing, conspiracy, psychedelics, neurologic, black market, counterculture, social history, Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove, London, Oxford, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s

Born 13 August 1945, Port Talbot, Wales.
Full name: Dennis Howard Marks.

Aliases: John Goddard, Brendan McCarthy, Stephen McCarthy, Mr Bergen, Mr Dennis, Colin Henderson, Donald Albertson, John Hayes, Albert Lane, Donald Nice, Anthony Tunnicliffe, Roy Green, William Tetley, Marco Polo, 41526-004, etc.

"He grew up in the shadow of the giant steelworks at Port Talbot [Wales]..." --David Leigh (in High Time , 1984).

Graduated from Garw Grammar School (Wales).

1967 -- Graduated from Balliol (at Oxford).

Close associate of Graham Plinston [convicted Lorrach, Federal Republic of Germany, cannabis importation, 7 March 1970].

1984 -- Publication of the biography High Time by David Leigh, which exposed the Howard Marks story to public scrutiny.

July 1988 -- Howard Marks arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency in Majorca, Spain.

1991 -- Publication of Hunting Marco Polo: The Pursuit and Capture of Howard Marks by Paul Eddy and Sara Walden.

Mug Shots
"During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines, and owned twenty-five companies trading throughout the world. Whether bars, recording studios, or offshore banks, all were money-laundering vehicles serving the core activity: dope dealing.

"After many years, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at Terre Haute State Penitentiary [in Indiana]. He was released in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence." [publisher's bumpf in the promotional flyer for Mr Nice, September 1996]

"Howard Marks is a talented, clever, charming and witty bloke who, in a saner society would be valued as a man with a gift for something and a talent for getting it done. The trouble is that what Howard is good at is moving very large pieces of cannabis around the world. Everyone I know seems to think this is an admirable way to make a living, but unfortunately the Americans don't see it like that, and that's why they tried to lock him up for 25 years." --Martin Deeson (in Loaded , October 1996).

Fuzzy Logic Album Cover April 1995 -- Released from US prison.

1996 -- Live appearance at the Megatripolis club in London, arranged by Lee Harris.

1996 -- Participated on the music track "Hangin' With Howard Marks" by the Super Furry Animals.

September 1996 -- His autobiography, Mr Nice , published.

Public Appearances in London:

*note: Howard has appeared in so many places, that it is impossible for me to keep track. Updated listings should be available at the official Howard Marks site.

Formerly married to: Ilze Kadegis.

Married to: Judy Marks [néé Lane].
Children: Myfanwy [born August 1972 by a previous relationship with Rosie Brindley],...
Amber, Francesca ('Golly'), and Patrick [by Judy Marks].

"Howard Marks lives in Majorca.
"He is currently considering a career in law." [publisher's bumpf, Mr Nice , UK hbk, September 1996]

"Howard Marks, once the world's most wanted drugs smuggler, is now planning to go straight -- straight to Parliament that is.

"Marks, who once moved 50-tonne consignments of hashish from Pakistan and Thailand to America, Canada and Europe yesterday confirmed he plans to stand in Norwich North on a platform of legalising cannabis. The key marginal constituency is held by the Tories, with a 266 majority." --Gary Younge (in The Guardian , Thursday 5 December 1996).

"Howard is standing, in the General Election, for both Norwich North and Norwich South on the legalise cannabis ticket, supported by the Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA) who plan to field two more candidates in North Norfolk and Northwest Norfolk." --Jack Girling (in a private e-mail, 16 February 1997).

Howard Marks has appeared on numerous UK television programmes.

Also See

Audio-Visual Material

Additional Links

To contact Howard Marks himself:

Of Related Interest

  • Beat Scene / Beat Generation / Bohemians
  • Conspiracy / Covert Activities / Cults
  • Counterculture / Underground
  • CyberCulture
  • Justice, Law, & Ethics
  • Neurologic / Consciousness / Mind Control
  • Psychedelics / Altered States
  • Social History

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    © Anachron Foundation, Mark/Space Interplanetary Review. Page compiled by Henry W.Targowski and Howard Marks, with input from: Paul Eddy, Jack Girling