How much of the Howard Marks legend is true, how much is subject to embellishment from its eponymous hero and how much Marks simply cannot remember accurately is a matter for some debate.
Things we know for certain are that Howard Marks was born in Wales. After six years at various universities, including Balliol College, Oxford, he eventually became heavily involved in the drugs trade. His role in the smuggling and distribution of cannabis earned him a seven-year stay in Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana (he'd originally been sentenced to 25 years).
After his release, Marks wrote about his experiences in his 1996 autobiography 'Mr Nice', the title a reference to his claim that he engaged in drug trafficking in an entirely non-violent way and that he never got involved in Class A drugs.
But that's not to diminish his track record as a drug entrepreneur. His empire was vast and he was undoubtedly shipping some very large consignments of hash. Whether it's true that he controlled '10% of the world's hashish market' cannot be proven but it is certain he was a major player.
Since his release, he's been a magazine columnist and author, a campaigner for the legalisation of cannabis, a UK parliamentary candidate, an actor and has become the media's semi-legit go-to guy for all things weed related. He's also carved out a niche as a public speaker and raconteur. Clearly well-educated, articulate, funny and intelligent, Marks has a reputation for engaging, humorous, straight-talking repartee.
Howard Marks will be appearing in Poole on 25th September, stopping off at Cambridge, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Preston and Swansea, among others, before the final show at London's Leicester Square Theatre on 10th November 2011 - all part of his 'Howard Marks is Mr Nice' UK tour.
We have tickets available now, priced £14 to £16.50 for most dates. Tickets for London are £18.50 and you can get to the Poole gig for just a tenner.
Marks is also appearing at the Magic Loungeabout 2011 at Broughton Hall, Yorkshire, on Sunday 31st July (day tickets £52) and, on 19th August, he is at the Green Man Festival 2011 in Wales (weekend tickets £135).