“True crime” is a strange, one-sided genre that consists mostly of law enforcement fairy tales and self-serving, Mr. Big soliloquies of greatness that omit all but the heroic narrator’s myopic perspective. There is a substantial body of literature on marijuana, but little has been written about the intricacies of smuggling by the men who were involved. Government records only document the victories of law enforcement, and the only records of success are the fading memories of the surviving participants. Following British historian E. P. Thompson’s call to capture the voices of voiceless groups, between 1998-2021, Mike Ritter and Peter Maguire conducted more than 1000 hours of taped interviews in the U.S., Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Canada, France, and Mexico with smugglers, Thai growers, warlords, fixers, police, CIA operatives, DEA agents, Khmer Rouge, and others. Only a fraction of this research appeared in Thai Stick, their 2013 book that was nominated for the 2014 Bancroft Prize, the 2014 PEN/ESPN award, the Oral History Association’s Book Award, and the American Historical Association’s Jerry Bentley Prize for World History. Because a significant number of the pioneers of the marijuana trade have died, and Maguire and Ritter were the only ones to interview them, they have decided to share the stories from the world’s largest pot smuggling archive. Subscribe to enjoy these stories on “Thai Stick Presents.”
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