Tony Dokoupil didn’t know his father was a drug-smuggler until he was almost 30. When he found out, he wanted to figure out the whole story. His new memoir is called The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, And The Golden Age of Marijuana. In today’s interview, he shares that story with us:
"In the late 1970s, 90 percent of the marijuana was coming into Florida. It was primarily Colombian, some of it was Jamaican. My father’s weed would be delivered to an old fishing shack in the [Florida] Keys. … It’s only one road that connects that necklace of islands and everyone knew that that was the road on which marijuana was smuggled into the country. So to smuggle on that road took an incredible amount of tolerance for risk.
So my father, despite being a partner in the operation, volunteered, for $25,000 a shot, to drive Winnebagos of weed out of the Keys and into America, just for the sheer thrill of it. He had no financial reason to do it. He had no operational reason to do it. … But by then he was addicted to the sensation of it, to the risk.
photo of Tony Dokoupil and his father via NY Daily News