High Times

Cannabis Cup

High Times is a New York-based monthly magazine founded in 1974 by American journalist, Tom Forcade. The publication is devoted to, and advocates the legalization of, marijuana. It is the largest cannabis-related magazine in the world.

High Times has long been considered the publication of record for the counterculture. Past contributors include Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Truman Capote, Hunter S. Thompson and Andy Warhol.

High Times was originally meant to be a joke, a one-shot lampoon of Playboy, substituting dope for sex, however, 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 choice grade of cannabis plant. In addition to high-quality photography, High Times featured journalism covering a wide range of topics including politics, activism, drugs, sex, music and film.

In 1988, Steven Hager was hired as editor-in-chief. He began a campaign to encourage personal use and cultivation of cannabis. Hager also founded the High Times Cannabis Cup and the High Times Freedom Fighters, a marijuana legalization group. The Freedom Fighters began when Hager received an invitation to attend the annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1987. Once one of the country’s largest annual legalization events, the Hash Bash.

They were inspired by the art of the Merry Pranksters (Ken Kessey’s troupe of psychedelic enthusiasts) and Provo (a Dutch counterculture movement that focused on provoking violent responses from authorities using non-violent bait) and the work of cannabis activist Jack Herer. Hager and fellow activists traveled the country in a psychedelic bus, creating major legalization events across the country, including the Boston Freedom Rally, which quickly became the largest political event in the country, drawing crowds of over 100,000 to Boston Common.

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