Former Balliolite Howard Marks, an international drug kingpin in the 1980s, gave a speech at Balliol’s Holywell Manor Festival last Saturday. Marks was jailed in the U.S. from 1988 to 1995, and subsequently penned his autobiography “Mr Nice”.

In his speech, Marks argued for the legalisation of marijuana on the grounds that it is already freely available, and that the only significant effect of its legalisation would be to reduce crime. Marks further claimed that alcohol is a more addictive substance than marijuana.

After his speech Marks went down the Balliol bar, regaling with stories of his puckish antics, and later pointing out the spot in Back Quad where he first tried acid.

Marks read Physics at Balliol, and matriculated in 1964.

First year Balliol Japanologist Lottie Dodd praised Marks as “the coolest alumnus Balliol has ever seen”.