By Christopher B. Daly
A hat-tip to TNR for recognizing the impact of High Times, the magazine that has stayed laser-focused on its advocacy of legalizing marijuana use in the United States. (Memo to TNR: in your drive to be resolutely counter-intuitive about everything, you overuse superlatives. High Times is obviously influential to anyone who stops to think about it for a second. You don’t need a headline saying it “may be the most influential.”)
Based in New York, High Times was founded in 1974 by Tom Forcade.
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 choice grade of cannabis plant.
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.
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.
As I have written elsewhere, this approach to journalism puts High Times squarely in a long, glorious tradition in American journalism: the advocacy tradition.
From Sam Adams to Tom Paine. . .
. . . from William Lloyd Garrison to Frederick Douglass
. . . From Ida B. Wells to Ida Tarbell
. . . from Jacob Riis to Lewis Hine
. . . from Upton Sinclair to Lincoln Steffens
. . . from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Gloria Emerson
. . . from Jann Wenner to Hunter Thompson
. . . from Westbrook Pegler to Sean Hannity
. . . from the Hearstpress to the Lucepress
. . . from Daniel Ellsberg to Edward Snowden
They’re advocates all!
One response to “Celebrating advocacy journalism: TNR salutes High Times”
I appreciate your blog on High Times. The list of contributers is Intriguing to me. I don’t know much about the magazine so the fact that it is so old and connected to Playboy and ABC was surprising.
Your blog caught my attention as I searched for a journalist to interview about the national liegalization of marijuana for an assignment.
Would you be kind enough to answer a list of eight questions?
Your help would be greatly appreciated. 🙂