Randy “Lightning” Lanier is a legendary race car driver and pot smuggler. A typical hippy growing in South Florida, he began selling marijuana in the 60s. Then in the 1970s, he started smuggling marijuana and living his dream racing cars. In the 80s, he built his own racing team, Blue Thunder, which in its first year won the IMSA Camel GT series, normally a factory-dominated racing series. He moved into racing Indy cars in 1985 and by 1986, he was the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, setting the fastest rookie qualifying times ever. In 1987, he was arrested and sentenced to life in prison without parole, a judge calling his marijuana smuggling ring “one of the largest in American history.” He was released in 2014 after 27 years in prison he became a behavioral health technician working in substance abuse treatment. Now he devotes his time to helping cannabis prisoners through Freedom Grow Forever, a nonprofit organization. He is also a brand ambassador for two public traded cannabis companies. He believes no one should be locked up for a plant.
A.J. Baime is the New York Times bestselling author of White Lies, Dewey Defeats Truman, The Accidental President, The Arsenal of Democracy: and Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. He has been a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal since 2010, and for the last six years he has penned a weekly car column for the paper called “My Ride,” which has a major following. He is also an editor-at-large at Road & Track magazine. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and numerous other publications. He lives in California with his family.