|Executive editor Dan Skye|
Founder Tom Forcade
Company Trans-High Corporation
First issue 1974 (1974-Summer)
Country United States
High Times is a New York-based monthly magazine founded in 1974 by Tom Forcade. The publication is devoted to, and advocates the legalization of cannabis.
High Times has long been influential in the marijuana-using counterculture. Past contributors include Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson, and Andy Warhol.
The magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forçade of the Underground Press Syndicate. High Times was originally meant to be a joke, a single-issue lampoon of Playboy, substituting dope for sex. But the magazine found an audience, and in November 2009, celebrated its 35th anniversary. Like Playboy each issue contains a centerfold photo, but instead of a nude woman, High Times typically features a cannabis plant. What started as a joke:
a one-shot lampoon of "Playboy"...was a huge success, with its circulation was audited by ABC and sold 550,000 copies (and the audit didn't include another 60,000 copies) within a year. Advertising sales grew at a feverish rate with the addition of Richard Laskey and Shelly Schorr to the staff. Schorr, an Alternative Press Syndicate member, brought advertisers to the magazine from record labels, stereo equipment and "straight" advertisers that they wanted and weren't getting. Laskey became the co-publisher when the magazine grew its circulation, advertising and started 3 new titles. – Joe Armstrong, publisher of National Lampoon.
The magazine soon became a monthly with a growing circulation audited by ABC reaching 500,000 copies an issue; rivaling Rolling Stone and National Lampoon. The staff quickly grew to 40 people. In addition to high-quality photography, High Times featured cutting-edge journalism covering a wide range of topics including politics, activism, drugs, sex, music and film. Tom Forçade was quoted as saying "Those cavemen must've been stoned, no pun intended". Tom Forçade’s previous attempts to reach a wide counterculture audience by creating a network of underground papers (UPS & APS) had failed, even though he had a stable of noteworthy writers, photographers, artists and cultural icons. Yet, through High Times, Forçade was able to get his message to the masses without relying on mainstream media.
Recognition and award ceremonies
High Times Records has released one compilation CD called High Times Presents THC Vol. 1 (The Hip-Hop Collection Volume 1). The album was produced by High Times writer and the founder of Nature Sounds Records, Devin Horwitz. The track listing is:
- Intro – Lord Sear
- Bart Burnt – The High & Mighty
- High Times – Black Moon (group)/Starang Wondah/Sean Price/Top Dog (rapper)
- Something About Mary – Serial Rhyme Killers
- Sweet Dreams – Intoxicated Demons
- Roll Up – Shabaam Sahdeeq/Steele (rapper)
- Puff, Puff, Pass – HOM
- Bomb Tree – Defari
- Get You Head Right – Afu-Ra
- Sticky Green – The Pharcyde
- Big Green Buds – J-Ro/Phil Tha Agony/Chocolate Tye
- My Favorite Ladies – MF Doom
- Escape – Ripshop
- Take A Hit – Lootpack
- So High (G-13) – RZA/Timbo King
- Medicated - Wiz Khalifa
In 2004 Annie Nocenti and Ruth Baldwin edited The High Times Reader, a collection from past issues of High Times, with an introduction by Paul Krassner. Writers included Al Aronowitz, George Barkin, Ann Louis Barsach, Chip Berlet, Steve Bloom, Michael Bloomfield, Victor Bockris, William S. Burroughs, Mark Christensen, Ed Dwyer, Bruce Eisner, David Enders, Thomas King Forcade, Andrew Kowl, Bruce Jay Friedman, Josh Alan Friedman, Kinky Friedman, Steven Hager, Debbie “Blondie” Harry, J. Hoberman, Mark Jacobson, David Katz, Paul Krassner, Dean Latimer, Carlo McCormick, Barry Miles, Cookie Mueller, Glenn O'Brien, Joey Ramone, Ron Rosenbaum, Jerry Rubin, Luc Sante, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, Terry Southern, Peter Stafford, Richard Stratton, Teun Voeten, Andy Warhol, Andrew Weil, Mike Wilmington, Robert Anton Wilson, and Frank Zappa.
Over the years numerous celebrities have been interviewed by or appeared on the cover of High Times.
List of celebrities appearing in High Times: