Legendary Smuggler Steve Lamb Passes Away; Film Chronicles His Remarkable Life

Renowned smuggler Steve Lamb, hailing from St. Pete Beach, passed away on February 28 at the age of 71, following an extended illness while under hospice care. Lamb’s life was a tapestry of daring exploits, most notably as a member of the Steinhatchee Seven, whose infamous drug-smuggling endeavor in 1973 resulted in one of the largest seizures of marijuana in U.S. history.

At the age of 20, Lamb found himself embroiled in a historic drug bust, orchestrating the transport of nine tons of marijuana from Jamaica to rural Dixie County, north of Crystal River. Despite serving a 20-month prison sentence, Lamb’s escapades continued, and he spent the ensuing years evading authorities, operating smuggling operations abroad, notably in Venezuela.

Lamb’s audacious adventures and subsequent evasion of the law elevated him to the status of a counterculture icon, celebrated for his defiance of societal norms and his embrace of a freewheeling lifestyle. His story, marked by highs and lows, captivated audiences, culminating in his memoir, “The Smuggler’s Ghost: When Marijuana Turned a Florida Teen into a Millionaire Fugitive.”

Now, Lamb’s captivating journey is set to be immortalized on the silver screen in “The Green Flash,” a documentary directed by Ethan Payne and Jodi Cash. Drawing from Lamb’s memoir, the film promises an intimate exploration of his life, from his humble beginnings in Florida to his globe-trotting adventures as a smuggler.

Reflecting on Lamb’s legacy, Gene Proulx, Special Agent in Charge of NOAA’s Southeast Region (ret.), lauded his role in shaping Florida’s history and the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Lamb’s exploits, while controversial, left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape, challenging societal norms and inspiring generations of rebels and free spirits.

In his own words, Lamb described his smuggling days as the “best time” of his life, devoid of regrets or complaints. His philosophy of gratitude and happiness for all things underscored his outlook on life, serving as a testament to his resilience and joie de vivre.

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As news of Lamb’s passing reverberates through his community, he leaves behind a legacy as a smuggler, storyteller, and symbol of an era defined by rebellion and defiance. While plans for a memorial service have yet to be announced, Lamb’s spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of those captivated by his remarkable tale of adventure and audacity.

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