Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter’s book, Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade, is the subject of a recent podcast on New Books in Terrorism and Organized Crime hosted by Mark Lauchs.  This interview with Maguire covers the backdrop of surfer culture in the 60’s and how this culture got involved with the drug smuggling trade into Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada.

Reading Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter‘s book Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade (Columbia Press, 2013) is the most fun I have had doing this podcast.

This is an important and overlooked story in the history of crime. The book provides an insight into how people can turn to crime in a manner that contradicts the strongly held theories of the life-course criminologists.

Maguire and Lauchs discuss the history of how surfers came to be involved with Thai drug smuggling –  from surfers trying to make enough money to continue their endless summer, to those who took on bigger hauls and made a fortune in the process, only to be taken down by the DEA in the end.  They discuss the DEA’s involvement in the Thai drug trade, the effects of America’s War on Drugs on the smugglers and the trajectory of the drug culture, and the state of illegal and pharmaceutical drugs in America and Australia today.

This is a fascinating conversation between two fellow academics (Mark Lauchs is with the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He studies organised crime and corruption with an associated interest in terrorism and is host of the New Books in Terrorism and Organized Crime podcasts).

Listen to the full podcast here: Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter, “Thai Stick” | New Books on Terrorism and Organized Crime