herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Stoned-age man

Most of the time is spent chatting about drugs and his sordid past and, while he admits to being a very happy man, he says he misses dodging every authority on the globe, smuggling extraordinarily large consignments of marijuana. Must have been the rush of it all, I reckon

"Yeah, the adrenaline rush," he replies, in that beguiling Welsh accent of his, "which I do get now through stage fright, but I suppose it's not quite as intense, I'm not risking as much. I mean, before I was risking freedom for the rest of my life, whereas on stage I'm just risking looking like a twat in front of a few hundred people, you know? But I still don't want to!"

Indeed, that's another thing that's been keeping the Oxford graduate busy in the years since his release -- his one-man stage show, An Evening with Howard Marks. But balancing a prolific work rate with a cannabis addiction is one of Howard's skills, I guess. Not admirable, but it hasn't halted his productivity or ambition.

"We're all different from each other and we all react to different drugs in different ways," he explains. "I mean, I happen to find that hashish enhances my enjoyment of whatever I enjoy anyway. I also find that I write much better when I'm stoned than when I'm straight, so a combination of those two things makes me a lucky guy given I am a writer now," he laughs.

And what's his daily intake like these days, I wonder? "If I'm out publicly, I don't want to really upset and offend people. I don't want to literally blow smoke in their faces. But left to my own devices, I would just chain smoke all day."

"It doesn't seem to be like that," he offers. "Of course, you get more and more familiar with being stoned. I mean, I'm stoned now," he smiles, "I've been smokin' all the f**kin' morning!"

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