Former drugs smuggler turned much-loved author and raconteur Howard Marks, aka “Mr Nice”, has announced that he is suffering from inoperable cancer. Once one of the world’s most wanted men, the 69-year-old said he has no regrets and has accepted his situation.

“I’ve come to terms with it in my own way,” he told The Observer, “which for me was about learning how to cry. It’s impossible to regret any part of my life when I feel happy and I am happy now, so I don’t have any regrets and have not for had any for a very long time.”

Well-wishers who have offered support include Sir Richard Branson, artist Tracey Emin, Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook and his wife Zoe Ball, who said Marks is a “ray of sunshine in our lives.” He also received backing from controversial right-wing newspaper columnist Peter Hitchens, brother of the late polemicist Christopher Hitchens. Peter, who has vociferously disagreed with Marks’ campaigning for legalisation of marijuana, described his friend as a “principled defender of free speech.”

Read the full article in The Observer here.

A special fundraising event (details in the poster on the right) has been announced at London’s Kentish Town Forum on Friday 27th February. It will be compered by Welsh actor Rhys Ifans. a close friend of Marks who portrayed him in the 2010 biographical movie “Mr Nice”. Others taking part include members of Super Furry Animals, Greg Wilson and many more yet to be revealed. Proceeds will help cover Howard’s treatment, finish a documentary about him and also set up a Mr Nice charitable foundation.

Tickets are on sale now and further details can be found here.

Howard Marks is online at his official website, Facebook and Twitter.

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