Do you ever wonder why marijuana is illegal?
     My recently completed novel, Marijuana, addresses this question. It is ready to be published and will, I hope, soon be available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, on order, or for downloading. Stay tuned to this website for breaking news. In the meantime, here's a bit about the story:
     When DANNY HAWTHORNE, young freelance writer, lands a plum assignment to write an article on the Drug War for Rolling Stone, he is ebullient. But his research leads him to a staggering personal discovery: his Dad is not his real father; his biological father, KEVIN DENSMORE, died before he was born, in a plane crash smuggling drugs. His quest to learn more about his bio dad uncovers a story of loss of innocence, smuggling, and international conspiracy.

     You know what the drug warriors say, that pushers give away the first hit to get their clients hooked. I offer the following excerpt as a similar come-on:



     I have been asked what motivated me to write about this subject. Here's the answer:

     For a long time I have wondered why marijuana is not legalized or decriminalized, in the face of so much contrary evidence, reason, and subterfuge related to keeping it illegal. The issue of legalization/decrim, and of marijuana use in general, is a highly emotional one, and strong emotion tends to compromise objectivity, particularly that of politicians. But, I reasoned, the persistence of pot prohibition has got to be due to more than just pure emotionalism. I started ideating reasons why, in the face of all the attendant crime, death, world record prison populations, and with costs of all this in the billions of taxpayer dollars each year, the government might want to keep pot illegal. My novel, Marijuana, is the end product of that ideation.

    Next question: is what I postulate true?
    Of course you know that fiction writers are liars. That's what fiction is, a lie, an untrue story of varying degrees of elaboration and believability. The best lies are wrapped around an inner framework of truth, rendering it more difficult to distinguish what is fiction and what is truth. This I have endeavored to do with Marijuana.
    What is truth and what is fiction regarding who profits from drug smuggling? I would say "that's for me to know and you to find out," but I'm not sure I know, really. What I do know is that a lot of what goes on with the Drug War really is "smoke and mirrors." Beyond that? I dunno. The "for you to find out" part is right on the money.
    I could not have written Marijuana without the help and advice of a number of friends. My deepest thanks to all of the following: Valerie and Shay for their support and tolerance of evenings and weekends without me when I was pounding my keyboard. (I didn't want to say "thanks for leaving me alone.") Jim McDowell, Jimmy Sims, and Jimbo Williamson for info and advice on flying in the 1970s. Reed Hilton for his candid account of his own experiences, reproduced with only minor changes as one of the scenes in this story. (Yeah, you guess which one.) Jason Wall and Bubba Geyer for their advice about automotive and aviation mechanics. Fenn Spencer, Bruce Haden, Ken & Sylvia Howell, Dr. Lee Burnett, Shay Howell, and Eddy Harding for information on a range of topics. Kim Bryan for her support and encouragement. And a big thank you to Jeff Harrod, who provided excellent assistance and advice in setting up this website. I want to point out that the majority of these people did not know beyond the most vague and general idea what my novel was about. (In fact, Eddy Harding didn't even know at the time, and neither did I, that he was contributing to a novel. Eddy, when you read the entire manuscript, notice Ike's comment about Johnny.)
    To answer another question that I have been asked, no, this work is not autobiographical. One scene only, and many details, came from my own personal experience. Otherwise it's all fiction.
    I hope you will enjoy it. And I hope it will provoke your thoughts about marijuana, and why it continues to be illegal in the face of so much subterfuge and contrary evidence.