Billy Hayes: Riding the Midnight Express

in Culture

Billy Hayes likes to say he’s been in the cannabis industry for the past 50 years, and is amazed at the progress made in the new world order of weed.

“I recently visited every dispensary in Las Vegas,” he shared. “As I walk in each door, I can’t believe that this exists. I was like a kid in a candy shop! It’s absolutely mind-blowing to see all the products out there now from this one amazing plant that’s sustained humankind for thousands of years.”

Recently, he hit the pavement in his hometown of Las Vegas to promote his one-man play, “Riding the Midnight Express with Billy Hayes.”  The play has him reliving his experience, while telling the truth of his time in a Turkish prison for smuggling 2.5 kilos or a little more than four pounds of hash out of Istanbul, Turkey. The show plays one night only in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 17th at 8 p.m. at the Big Springs Theater. 

“The movie, Midnight Express, was loosely based on my book, but had a lot of misnomers – specifically of my speaking out in court against the Turkish people. I love Turkey and its people. At the time I went into court I had been practicing the Zen of yoga – I was into love and light, and there’s no way I would have screamed out my hatred for the Turkish people – that just didn’t happen.”

The riff with Turkey has long since been settled, and he’s been welcomed back since. The other fallacy from the film was that the arrest was the first time he had smuggled hash out of Istanbul.

Billy Hayes at his trial; Courtesy of Billy Hayes“I had done it three times prior, with no issues,” he explained. “It was …

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Author: Sharon Letts / High Times

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