The Kentucky Cornbread Mafia – Johnny Boone and the Kentucky Outlaw Cannabis Trade
June 18, 2019
The Cornbread Mafia – Presentation by James C. Higdon, June 18, 2019
Author James Higdon—whose relationship with Johnny Boone made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration—takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines.
By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot.
Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heart-breaking altruism.
Accompanied by a soundtrack of rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, this work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.
James Higdon is a native of Lebanon, Kentucky, where he was educated by the Sisters of Loretto. He holds degrees from Centre College, Brown University, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
He is the author of The Cornbread Mafia and works as a freelance journalist with bylines in POLITICO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Esquire Magazine, and The Washington Post.
Filmed by DarkstarTV at the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky.