By Jason Moore
ONE of the biggest stories I have ever covered on this newspaper was the arrest of Denis Howard Marks, who was charged and convicted as being one of the largest hashish smugglers in the world. He was extradited to the U.S. and served his time at one of the toughest jails in the United States. His highly successful book, Mr. Nice, gives a clear insight into his activities and this week his one-man-show comes to Palma. Since his release he has spent a considerable amount of time calling for the legalisation of soft drugs. There is another important role which he can also fulfil. Anyone who has read his book will realise that smuggling hashish or marijuana is a lucrative and highly sophisticated operation. Police forces in Europe and the U.S. could make use of Marks' years of experience to help try and stop the large quantities of soft drugs which flow into Europe and the U.S. every year. I just can't understand why his knowledge has not been put to more effective use by law enforcement agencies. I understand that Marks has helped UK police forces and it is a shame that others have not followed their lead. Perhaps, in the future soft drugs will become legal across Europe but at the moment trafficking remains a major offence and the police need as much help as they can get. Police readily admit that they only seize a small percantage of the soft drugs which flow into Europe. Spain is an important gateway. In Spain the drugs laws are more liberal that those in the UK but Spanish police still spend plenty of their resources on trying to stop the lucrative flow of soft drugs from North Africa. In Spain trafficking is illegal but consumption isn't. Some say that this makes the job of the Spanish police even more difficult. Others say it is the reverse. Whatever, anyone's point of view trafficking in soft drugs still remains a major offence and as I have said above, police need as much help as they can get to try and stop it.


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