Racer/Weed Dealer Randy Lanier Recounts His Wild Ride in New Book

Randy Lanier needed to be a race motor vehicle driver from a pretty young age, with desires of competing in leading-tier events this sort of as the Indianapolis 500. But for a South Florida hippy, and compact-time weed supplier, in the 1960s, this aim was out of access.

“To seriously be an up-front runner in racing, it can take not only a staff, but a team with rather a little bit of funds,” Lanier advised Vehicle and Driver on the event of the publication of his new memoir Survival of the Speediest: Weed, Speed, and the 1980s Drug Scandal that Shocked the Sports Environment, which he wrote with automotive journalist and author A.J. Baime (Go Like Hell, The Arsenal of Democracy).

In get to purchase the revenue he needed to be competitive on the observe, Lanier arrived up with a novel approach. He would turn into head of a person of the greatest marijuana smuggling operations in American heritage, growing his organization until eventually he was delivery in hundreds of hundreds of pounds of weed from South America in a single haul.

Courtesy of Randy Lanier

Courtesy of Randy Lanier

The independent racing group he started with the revenue, Blue Thunder, was quite prosperous. In its 1st 12 months, the workforce received the IMSA Camel GT sequence. In 1986, Lanier raced in the Indy 500 and was named Rookie of the Calendar year. But the glory was quick-lived. His growing endeavours coincided with the rising efforts of the so-named War on Medicines. Residing like a true-existence Miami Vice bad man caught up with him. In 1987, Lanier was arrested and presented a sentence of lifetime in prison devoid of parole.

Courtesy of Randy Lanier

The in depth tales of South American drug lords, significant-scale weed cultivation, quickly boats, even faster cars (on and off the observe), wild partying, and Miami real estate are fascinating. As is the just about schematic consideration to detail Lanier brought to his smuggling operation, which highlighted moveable weed-bale transporting relocating walkways unsuspecting shipping and delivery crews dummy cargo (together with a zillion tons of cement) giant cargo vessels with key compartments and CIA-stage stakeouts, surveillance, and gadgetry.

Even far more appealing, most likely, is the tale of Lanier’s reformation in jail, and (spoiler notify) his eventual launch. This appeared specifically compelling, as it labored in direct contrast to the extremely punitive mother nature of the present-day prison justice system.

“Prison is not established up at all for reflection and self-growth at all,” Lanier reported. “It’s established up for recidivism.” Lanier credited his eventual parole, following 27 years of incarceration—seven of them in solitary confinement—to his spirituality. Youthful perform with a expert taught him the means to improve his expertise by transforming his perception. He parlayed this attitudinal positivity into reading through, studying, and contemplating. Inevitably, he became a mentor, a yoga instructor, and a suicide observe volunteer—trained to sit and chat with persons who attempted to choose their life—in jail.

Now on the exterior, Lanier has focused his daily life to giving products and services, consolation, and finally freedom to other non-violent cannabis offenders. He currently accomplishes these campaigns and steps by way of his not-for-earnings, Freedom Increase. “These men and women need to not be at present incarcerated when there are 38 states, and all these companies, building tens of millions of bucks providing thousands of lbs . of cannabis, lawfully, each and every 7 days,” Lanier claimed. “These people will need to appear dwelling.”

To fund his initiative, he now has a license from the point out of New Jersey to legally cultivate weed.

Courtesy of Randy Lanier

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