Weed Runner/Seller Randy Lanier Recounts His Wild Ride in New Book
Randy Lanier wanted to be a race car driver from a young age, with dreams of racing in high profile events like the Indianapolis 500. But for a South Florida hippie and small weed dealer , in the 1960s, this goal was out of reach.
“To really be a frontrunner in racing, it takes not just a team, but a team with a lot of money,” Lanier said. Car and driver on the occasion of the publication of his new memoirs Survival of the Fastest: Weed, Speed and the 1980s Drug Scandal that Shocked the Sports Worldwhich he wrote with automotive journalist and author AJ Baime (Go like hell, The arsenal of democracy).
In order to acquire the money he needed to be competitive on the track, Lanier came up with a new plan. He would become the head of one of the largest marijuana smuggling operations in American history, expanding his business until he was shipping hundreds of thousands of pounds of weed from South America in one go. transportation.
The independent racing team he founded with the proceeds, Blue Thunder, was very successful. In its first year, the team won the IMSA Camel GT series. In 1986, Lanier raced in the Indy 500 and was named Rookie of the Year. But the glory was short-lived. His growing efforts coincided with the growing efforts of the so-called War on Drugs. Live like a real life miami vice the bad guy caught him. In 1987, Lanier was arrested and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The detailed stories of South American drug lords, large-scale weed cultivation, fast boats, even faster cars (on and off the track), wild parties and real estate in Miami are fascinating . Much like the almost schematic attention to detail Lanier brought to his smuggling operation, which featured conveyor belts carrying portable weed bales; unsuspecting ships’ crews; dummy cargo (including one million tons of cement); giant freighters with secret compartments; and CIA-level settlements, surveillance, and gadgetry.
Even more interesting, perhaps, is the story of Lanier’s reformation in prison and (spoiler alert) his eventual release. This seemed particularly compelling, as it stood in direct contrast to the extremely punitive nature of the contemporary criminal justice system.
“Prison is not designed for reflection and personal growth at all,” Lanier said. “It’s set up for recidivism.” Lanier attributed his eventual parole, after 27 years incarceration – seven of which were in solitary confinement – to his spirituality. Youth work with a guru taught him the ability to change his experience by changing his perception. He transformed this attitudinal positivity into reading, study and contemplation. Eventually, he became a mentor, yoga instructor and suicide watcher volunteer – trained to sit and talk with people who attempted suicide – in prison.
Now on the outside, Lanier has dedicated his life to providing service, comfort, and ultimately freedom to other non-violent cannabis offenders. He currently carries out these campaigns and actions through his non-profit organization, Freedom Grow. “These people shouldn’t be incarcerated right now when there are 38 states, and all these corporations, making millions of dollars selling thousands of pounds of cannabis, legally, every week,” Lanier said. “These people need to go home.”
To fund his initiative, he now has a license from the State of New Jersey to legally grow weed.
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