Monday, 11 April 2016

Goodbye Mr Nice aka Howard Marks ( 13/8/45 - 10/4/16)

Sad to hear that Howard Marks - A.K.A Mr Nice - has  passed away of  inoperable  cancer at the age of 70. The father of four  was born in Kenfig Hill, Wales in 1945  and went on to study at Oxford University at Balliol college where he took nuclear  physics, and later got  post graduate  qualifications in philosopy  he was also a fluent Welsh speaker and practicing Bhuddist.
As a drug smuggler he found infamy however, asnd was sentenced  to 25 years inprisonment , realeased on parole in 1995 for good behaviour.
In his 1996 autobiography Mr Nice he wrote with humour and unashamed bravado  about his life and the sheer scale of his daily deeds and escapades involving a whole  host of characters ranging from the C.I.A. M.I.6.  the P.L..O. the I.R.A to the mafia.
Mr Nice was one  of 43 aliases  he used  which struck  a chord in the public imagination.

A man I was fortunate to meet, at a speaking tour and remember rushing up to him at Hay -on - wye  one year in order for him to sign some king size rizlas of mine, and amiable friendly bloke I could not   hope to have encountered. Mischeivious twiknling eyes and warm handshake
On his release he became a notable campaigner  for the legislation of cannabis and toured a comedy show, a man regarded as a true  modern day folk hero, counter cultural  icon and loveable rogue. A  life spent indulging in all things good, friendship, laughter music and of course drugs.
A man of very few regrets he will be remembered with fondness. He certainly lived quite a life.
Reflecting  on his crimes he said " Smuggling cannabis was a wonderful way of living -  perpetual  culture shock, absurd amounts of money,  and the comforing knowledge of getting so  many people stoned."
Still passionate about the issue he stood for Parliament on four seperate occassions on the single issue of the legislation of cannabis.
He had completed eight cycles of chemotherapy  and had initially responded well, but alas his condition finally succumbed. He died  surrounded by loving family members at his Bridgend  home  in the early hours of Sunday.
One of his last acts was to set up  the Mr Nice foundation, to ensure causes dear to him continue to get support. It is still outrageous that after his death  the innocent little drug that is cannabis is still illegal, and that the war on drugs is still not succeeding. Let us hope that in the coming years, legislation is finally achieved,  that it becomes controlled and sanitised .
Howard Marks, Mr Nice, R.I.P keep on rolling deep. Hashes to ashes. 
Stoned immaculate. Do not go gentle into that good night.

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