BOOK CORNER: Memoir details author’s 60s drug-smuggling operation 

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“The Next Run: A UC Berkeley Student’s Rise to Major 60s Pot Smuggler,” by Tom Jenkins, is a compelling memoir that details the author’s experience in the middle of the 1960s as he and two friends bring back 12 kilos of marijuana from Mexico, which leads to larger smuggling operations. 

After meeting Bruce, a skilled pilot, the loads escalate to half a ton at a time. Much of this is done while the author maintains a full course load at UC Berkley and he ultimately becomes a physician.

“The many coincidences, close calls and ironies that occurred during my adventures followed such a dramatic and even literary arc, that there were times when I wondered if some higher power wasn’t using me to write a novel,” Jenkins said. “As a result, I was able to craft a memoir in which every sentence is true — as opposed to ‘based on the true story.’”

“The Next Run” chronicles the author’s journey from 1965 to 1975 when he was between 18 and 28. It was important for the author to share a thought-provoking book that offered a more accurate representation of true crime.

“I want people to know, ‘Hey! This crazy stuff really happened,’ and what did happen is so different from the usual presentations of true crime, where most of the characters are heavy macho types,” Jenkins said. “Most of my characters are upbeat, thoughtful, considerate and, above all, idiosyncratic.”

Within the book, readers will be presented with themes of honesty, romance, mental illness, developing one’s potential and more.

“The Next Run” can be enjoyed by readers of all backgrounds. 

“Specific targets include people interested in pot, true crime, male adventure, or the surprisingly benign beginnings of our modern-day cartels,” Jenkins said. “Boomers will enjoy reminiscing.”

Jenkins hopes his book proves to be “an entertaining read offering suspense, humor, romance and thoughtful comments relating to such diverse subjects as mathematics, mental illness, aviation and botany.” 

“They’ll see the 60s counterculture movement as it really was presented by someone who lived it and is capable of seeing its wonderful utopian ideals as well as its folly,” said the author.

In addition to being an author, Jenkins is a physician based in California. For more information about the author and his book, visit

“The Next Run: A UC Berkeley Student’s Rise to Major 60s Pot Smuggler” will be available April 20 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Ingram-Sparks.