Potency and safety analysis of hemp-derived delta-9 products: The hemp vs. cannabis demarcation problem

High Times
Cover image of High Times' premiere issue, featuring model Elizabeth Donoghue,[1] Summer 1974
VP, ContentJon Cappetta (2019–present)
EditorEllen Holland (Mar. 2022–present)
Former editors
  • Ed Dwyer (founding editor)
  • Larry Sloman[2] (1979–1984)
    Steven Hager (1988–2003, 2006–c. 2013)
  • Chris Simunek (c. 2013–2014)
  • Dan Skye (2014[3]–2020)
  • Jamie Solis (2020–2022)
CategoriesRecreational drugs
FrequencyMonthly
Circulation500,000 (1987)
PublisherTrans-High Corporation (1974–2016)
Hightimes Holding Corp. (2017–present)
FounderTom Forçade
Founded1974; 50 years ago (1974)
First issueSummer 1974 (1974)
CompanyHightimes Holding Corp.
CountryUnited States
Based inLos Angeles
LanguageEnglish
Websitehightimes.com
ISSN0362-630X
High Times cover (17 November 2006).

High Times is an American monthly magazine (and cannabis brand)[4] that advocates the legalization of cannabis[5] as well as other counterculture ideas. The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forcade.[6] The magazine had its own book publishing division, High Times Books, and its own record label, High Times Records.

From 1974 to 2016, High Times was published by Trans-High Corporation (THC).[7] Hightimes Holding Corp. acquired THC and the magazine in 2017.[8][9]

Overview

High Times covers a wide range of topics, including politics, activism, drugs, education,[5] sex, music, and film; as well as photography.[10]

Like Playboy, each issue of High Times contains a centerfold photo; however, instead of a nude woman, High Times typically features a cannabis plant.[11][3] (The magazine, however, often featured women—occasionally crowned as "Ms. High Times"[12]—on the cover to help newsstand sales.)[5] In addition, the magazine "published writers like Hunter S. Thompson, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg, and Truman Capote."[5]

Publication history

Origins

Forçade's previous attempt—via the Underground Press Syndicate/Alternative Press Syndicate—to reach a wide counterculture audience of underground papers had failed, even though he had the support of several noteworthy writers, photographers, and artists.[13] Through High Times, Forçade was able to get his message to the masses without relying on mainstream media.[14][15] Forçade was quoted as saying, "Those cavemen must've been stoned, no pun intended."[citation needed]

High Times was originally meant to be a joke: a single-issue lampoon of Playboy, substituting marijuana for sex.[16][5][3] Brainstorming for the first issue's contents was conducted by a group that included Forcade, Rex Weiner, Ed Dwyer, Robert Singer, A. J. Weberman, Dana Beal, Ed Rosenthal, the underground cartoonist Yossarian a.k.a. Alan Shenker,[17] and Cindy Ornsteen a.k.a. Anastasia Sirocco.[1]

The first issue, 50 pages in total, with the tagline, "The Magazine of High Society," appeared in the summer of 1974.[1] Advertising for the first issue had been pre-sold at that year's National Fashion and Boutique Show. "High Times #1 made its debut at the June 1974 show and was an instant success, selling out its first run of 10,000 copies and getting reprinted twice."[1]

The magazine's first editor was Ed Dwyer, who had earlier written the text of the Woodstock music festival program booklet (as well as the Woodstock film program booklet).[18] The magazine was initially distributed by Homestead Book Company[19] and Big Rapids Distribution.

High Times was at the beginning funded by drug money from the sale of illegal marijuana,[20][5] But the magazine found an audience, becoming a monthly publication with a growing circulation, and the staff quickly grew to 40 people.[when?] Marijuana hydroponics growers were a large part of the magazine's advertiser base.[5]

Financial struggles and legal battles

High Times founder Forçade committed suicide in November 1978.[21][22] He bequeathed trusts to benefit High Times and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).[6] (Forçade had been a supporter of NORML since the organization's founding in 1970.)[citation needed]

Following Forçade's death, the magazine was controlled by "mostly by Forçade’s relatives" and lawyer Michael John Kennedy.[4]

Under the editorship of Larry Sloman (from 1979 to 1984),[23] the magazine consistently struggled against marijuana prohibition laws, and fought to keep itself alive and publishing in an anti-cannabis atmosphere.[5] Reflecting the time period, High Times began to feature positive coverage of cocaine as a recreational drug.[3][5]

The magazine's former associate publisher, Rick Cusick, said the only way High Times managed to stay in business and never miss a publication date for over four decades was, "Really, really good lawyers, even though everybody knew I was talking about just one—Michael Kennedy."[24] Kennedy served as the General Counsel and Chairman of the Board for High Times for over 40 years until his death in 2016, when his wife and board member, Eleanora Kennedy, took the reins.[citation needed]

Mainstream success and the Hager era

In 1987, High Times was audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation as reaching 500,000 copies an issue, rivaling Rolling Stone and National Lampoon.[25]

In 1988, Steven Hager was hired as the magazine's editor. He changed the focus from the promotion of hard drugs (e.g., cocaine and heroin), and instead concentrated on advocating personal cultivation of cannabis.[5][26] Hager became the first editor to publish and promote the work of hemp activist Jack Herer.[27]

In 1988, under Hager's leadership, the magazine created the Cannabis Cup, a cannabis awards ceremony held every Thanksgiving in Amsterdam that later expanded to a number of U.S. cities.[3] He also formed the High Times Freedom Fighters, the first hemp legalization group.[citation needed] The High Times Freedom Fighters were famous for dressing up in Colonial outfits and organizing hemp rallies across the United States. One rally, the Boston Freedom Rally, quickly became the largest marijuana-related political event in the country,[5] drawing an audience of over 30,00 to the Boston Common in 2013.[5]

The magazine advocated for the widespread use of hemp in the 1990s, publishing a quarterly magazine called Hemp Times and operating a retail location in Manhattan called Planet Hemp.[5]

In 1991, the magazine began featuring celebrities on the cover of the magazine. Over the years, these included Cypress Hill, The Black Crowes, Ziggy Marley, Beavis and Butt-Head, Milla Jovovich, Ice Cube, Wu-Tang Clan, George Carlin, Ozzy Osbourne, Kevin Smith, Frances McDormand, Pauly Shore, Sacha Baron Cohen, Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, and Snoop Dogg.[28]

In 1997, the magazine and Hager founded the Counterculture Hall of Fame, with inductions held annually on Thanksgiving as part of the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup event.

In the late 1980s Mike Edison began writing "Shoot the Tube," a featured column about television and politics for High Times. In 1998 Edison was named the magazine's publisher, and later took control of the editorial side of the magazine as well. As editor and publisher, he caused a furor among staffers by putting Black Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne on the cover, and then leaking to the New York Post's Page Six gossip column that thousands of dollars of pot had gone missing from the photo shoot.[29] After taking the magazine to new heights in sales and advertising,[30] Edison was instrumental in producing High Times' first feature film, High Times' Potluck.[31] Edison left High Times in 2001.

In 2000, the magazine established the Stony Awards to recognize and celebrate notable stoner films and television episodes about cannabis. Six High Times Stony Awards ceremonies were held in New York City beginning in 2000, before the Stonys moved to Los Angeles in 2007. Award winners received a bong-shaped trophy.[32] Starting in 2002, the Stonys presented the Thomas King Forçade Award for "stony achievement" in film.[33]

Later developments

In 2003, Steven Hager was fired, and High Times' board of directors shifted the magazine's focus from marijuana to more literary content, hiring John Buffalo Mailer as executive editor.[4][34] As a result, the magazine "lost a third of the circulation in nine months."[4] Mailer left the magazine within a year[4]—a succession of editors followed, including David Bienenstock, Rick Cusick, and Steve Bloom.[35]

In 2004, High Times returned to its roots, releasing the CD High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection. Hager was rehired, first as the creative director,[citation needed] and then in 2006, back to the position of editor-in-chief,[35] but by 2009 he had returned to the role of creative director.[12]

In November 2009, High Times celebrated its 35th anniversary.[36]

In the period 2010–2013, the magazine put out a standalone publication that advocated for medical marijuana.[5]

Hager was again let go by the magazine in 2013, eventually successfully suing High Times for defrauding him of his ownership shares in the company.[37] Hager subsequently released a 20-part series on YouTube, titled The Strategic Meeting, showing the internal machinations inside the company. The video series asserts that Michael Kennedy stole the company from the rightful employees and subverted the original mission for his own private gain.[38]

In October 2014, the magazine celebrated its 40th anniversary with a party attended by celebrities such as Susan Sarandon.[3] In 2014, the High Times website was read by 500,000 to five million users each month.[3][39]

Relocation to L.A., sale

In January 2017, the magazine announced it would be permanently relocating from New York to Los Angeles.[20] This followed the legalization of marijuana in several West Coast states, including California.[40]

In the summer of 2017, High Times was sold to a group of investors led by Adam Levin[4] of Oreva Capital for an amount estimated from $42 million[41][37] to $70 million.[4]

High Times acquired cannabis media company Green Rush Daily, Inc. on April 5, 2018.[42] The deal was valued at $6.9 million. Green Rush Daily founder Scott McGovern joined the magazine as Senior Executive Vice President.[43]

Columns

Comics

By 1976, High Times was publishing comics in its pages, by the likes of underground comix creators such as Gilbert Shelton ("The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers"), Kim Deitch, Josh Alan and Drew Friedman, Bill Griffith ("Zippy the Pinhead"), Paul Kirchner ("Dope Rider"), Milton Knight ("Zoe"), Spain Rodriguez ("Trashman"), Dave Sheridan, Frank Thorne, and Skip Williamson ("Snappy Sammy Smoot"). Later, artists like Bob Fingerman and Mary Wilshire contributed comics to High Times as well.[7]

Notable contributors and staff members

Andrew Weil was a regular contributor to High Times from 1975 to 1983.[52] For a time, William Levy served as the magazine's European editor.

In 1976, Bruce Eisner became a contributing editor for the magazine. Chip Berlet was the magazine's Washington, D.C. bureau chief in the Seventies. Jeff Goldberg was an editor in 1978–1979.

Kyle Kushman is a former cultivation reporter for High Times and has been a contributing writer for over 20 years.

Bobby Black had a long association with High Times, from 1994 to 2015,[53][54][55][56] including being a senior editor[57] and columnist. His involvement at High Times included production director and associate art director; writing the monthly lifestyle and entertainment column "Almost Infamous"; writing feature articles and interviews; creator and producer of the magazine's annual Miss High Times beauty pageant;[12] producer and host of the annual High Times Doobie Awards for music;[58][59] lead reporter, judge, and competition coordinator for the Cannabis Cup and the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup; and A&R, producer, liner notes and art director for High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection CD (High Times Records).[60]

At age 19, Zena Tsarfin started as an intern for the magazine.[61] She later returned to High Times, serving as the magazine's managing editor until 2001 and then again from March 2006 to January 2007. From 2014 to 2016, Tsarfin was High Times' director of digital media.

Danny Danko is the magazine's former Senior Cultivation Editor.[5]

The careers of a number of writers/editors from the comics industry overlapped with High Times, including Tsarfin, Josh Alan Friedman (High Times managing editor, 1983), Lou Stathis (High Times editor, late 1980s), Ann Nocenti (High Times editor, 2004), and most significantly, John Holmstrom, who began to work for the magazine as Managing Editor in 1987, was soon promoted to Executive Editor, and in 1991 was promoted to Publisher and President. In 1996 he stepped aside to launch and oversee the High Times website, and left the magazine for good in 2000.

Andrew James Parker, a.k.a. Chewberto420, is a cannabis photographer and author, based out of the Western United States (predominantly Huntington Beach, California and Pagosa Springs, Colorado), who has made contributions to the magazine since 2016. Parker is known for his images based in macro photography. He discovered naturally occurring purple hash through experimentation with anthocyanins within cannabis.[62][63][64]

Book publishing

A High Times branded cannabis dispensary in Coalinga, California
  • Aldrich, Michael R.; Ashley, Richard; Horowitz, Michael (1978). The High Times Encyclopedia of Recreational Drugs. Stonehill Pub Co. ISBN 0-88373-082-0.
  • Bienenstock, David (2008). The Official High Times Pot Smoker's Handbook. High Times Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-6205-9.
  • Danko, Danny (2011). The Official High Times Field Guide to Marijuana Strains. High Times Books. ISBN 978-1-893010-28-4.
  • Eudaley, Chris (2000). How to Be a Pot Star Like Me: What Every Marijuana Enthusiast Should Know. High Times Books. ISBN 1-893010-06-6.
  • Gaskin, Stephen (1998). Hager, Steven (ed.). Cannabis Spirituality: Including 13 Guidelines for Sanity and Safety. High Times Books. ISBN 0-9647858-6-2.
  • Hager, Steven (2002). Adventures in the Counterculture: From Hip Hop to High Times. High Times Books. ISBN 1-893010-14-7.
  • Krassner, Paul (1999). "Foreword by Harlan Ellison". In Hager, Steven (ed.). Pot Stories for the Soul. High Times Books. ISBN 1-893010-02-3.
  • Krassner, Paul (2001). Hager, Steven (ed.). Psychedelic Trips for the Mind. High Times Books. ISBN 1-893010-07-4.
  • Lewin, Natasha (2010). The Official High Times Pot Smoker's Activity Book. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-6206-6.
  • Nocenti, Annie; Baldwin, Ruth, eds. (2004). The High Times Reader. New York: Nation Books. ISBN 1-56025-624-9.
  • Raskin, Jonah (2011). Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War. New York: High Times Books. ISBN 978-1-893010-30-7.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Weiner, Rex (9 October 2014). "6 1/2 Things You Didn't Know About High Times". Culture. High Times. Archived from the original on 2024-03-10. Retrieved 2024-03-10.
  2. ^ "A Conversation with Larry "Ratso" Sloman". Magnet magazine. 5 April 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Coscarelli, Joe. "WEED-STAINED WRETCHES: High Times Hits Middle Age: How the Marijuana Magazine Stays Relevant," Archived 2022-12-24 at the Wayback Machine New York (Oct. 17, 2014).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Stevenson, Seth (July 26, 2021). "For High Times, Weed Legalization Is a Mixed Bag: The magazine was a countercultural icon. Its new owners want to make it a name brand". Slate. Archived from the original on December 24, 2022. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (October 30, 2013). "Baking Bad: A Potted History of 'High Times': The editors of the nation's most popular pot magazine on its four decades-long fight to end cannabis prohibition". The Nation. Archived from the original on March 10, 2024. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  6. ^ a b Danko, Danny (January 6, 2005). "Norml Founder Retires – Exhale Stage Left". HighTimes.com. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  7. ^ a b "High Times Magazine, Trans-High Corporation, 1974 Series". Grand Comics Database. Archived from the original on December 9, 2022. Retrieved Dec 9, 2022.
  8. ^ "Hightimes Holding Corp". Bloomberg. 2023-11-08. Archived from the original on 2023-11-08. Retrieved 2023-11-08. INCORPORATED 12/02/2016
  9. ^ "Investor Relations". Hightimes Holding Corp. 2023-11-08. Archived from the original on 2023-09-20. Retrieved 2023-11-08. [A] Force of the Cannabis Industry Since 1974 | Hightimes Holding Corp. is the parent corporation of High Times... publication of monthly print and online magazines, as well as the production and sponsorship of trade shows and events...
  10. ^ Lazaroff, Leon (2017-06-02). "New owner of 'High Times' sees a business ready to be fully baked". The Street. Archived from the original on 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  11. ^ "High Price Paid for High Times". CNN. 2017-06-02. Archived from the original on 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
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  13. ^ Cotts, Cynthia (1999-10-26). "Our Buds, Ourselves". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
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  17. ^ Rosenkranz, Patrick (January 25, 2013). "'Totally Righteous' Lower East Side Cartoonist Dies: Alan Shenker AKA Yossarian, March 3, 1945-January 14, 2013". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on March 10, 2024. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  18. ^ Dwyer, Ed (August 5, 2019). "By the Time I Got to Woodstock: The author of the Woodstock festival's program book recalls one helluva wild ride". The Saturday Evening Post. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
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  21. ^ Torgoff, Martin (2004). Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age, 1945–2000. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-7432-5863-0.
  22. ^ Clayton Patterson (2007). Resistance: A Radical Political and Social History of the Lower East Side. Seven Stories Press. pp. 514–517. ISBN 9781583227459.
  23. ^ "High Times Greats: Larry 'Ratso' Sloman: A rare interview with author, comedian, Yippie warrior and former editor-in-chief of High Times". High Times. July 9, 2020. Archived from the original on December 24, 2022.
  24. ^ Simunek, Chris (2016-01-26). "Requiem For a Dragonslayer, Michael Kennedy, 1937-2016". High Times.
  25. ^ Greene, Bob (1987-03-30). "What to read if you just don't say 'no'". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-04-06.
  26. ^ "Q & A with Steven Hager, former Editor of High Times". CannaBuff.com. Apr 26, 2021. Archived from the original on December 22, 2022. Retrieved December 24, 2022. I understood High Times had lost their way promoting cocaine and other white powders and needed to get back to the original hippie spirit. Coke and heroin were ruining too many lives.
  27. ^ Cizmar, Martin. "The Story of One of the Greatest Cannabis Advocates Who Ever Lived and the Strain That Bears His Name: With the closure of Third Eye, the Potlander wanted to revisit the life of Jack Herer," Archived 2022-12-24 at the Wayback Machine Willamette Week (April 18, 2017).
  28. ^ Bloom, Steve (July 7, 2017). "Celebrities on the Cover of High Times". CelebStoner. Archived from the original on March 10, 2024. Retrieved March 10, 2024.
  29. ^ "Drug-Addled Rock Star Pilfers Pot, Chaos Reigns at Stoner Photo Shoot". New York Post. January 26, 1999.
  30. ^ "Press Clips". The Village Voice. October 27, 1999.
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  32. ^ "James Franco, Weeds Among High Times Stony Award Winners". TV Guide. OpenGate Capital. September 29, 2008. Archived from the original on May 31, 2009. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  33. ^ Vizzini, Ned (March 5, 2002). "Scissorfight; Franzese's Bully Party; Stony Awards; More Shopping and Fucking". New York Press. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  34. ^ a b Leland, John (Nov 16, 2003). "Who's Smoking Now?"". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 24, 2022. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  35. ^ a b Bloom, Steve (September 5, 2020). "My 30+ Years in Cannabis: From High Times to CelebStoner". CelebStoner. Archived from the original on December 24, 2022. Retrieved December 24, 2022.
  36. ^ Krassner, Paul (October 1, 2009). "Tom Forçade: Prisoner of Romance". HighTimes.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-05.
  37. ^ a b Russell, Josh (January 10, 2018). "Longtime High Times Editor Sues Magazine Over Ouster: The former editor of High Times magazine claims in court that he was defrauded of his shares in the counter-culture monthly". Courthouse News Service.
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  43. ^ "High Times Acquires Green Rush Daily in All Stock Deal". 5 April 2018. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  44. ^ "Almost Infamous," High Times website. Retrieved Dec. 23, 2022.
  45. ^ Zamora, Jim Herron. "Pot Growing Icon Takes Raid in Stride," Archived February 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. San Francisco Chronicle. 2002-02-25. Retrieved on 2007-08-11. ("Article Not Found!". Archived from the original on February 5, 2007. Retrieved 2017-09-17.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link))
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Further reading

External links