High Times for Magazine

High Times remained a trusted source of information for weed enthusiasts…


Forty years ago a drug-smuggling, leftist radical who went by the alias Tom Forçade launched an underground magazine called High Times. The periodical tapped into a 1970s drug culture that was accepting of marijuana (among other substances), and was a nearly instant success. According to former High Times multimedia director John Holstrom, early editions of the magazine sold more than 1 million copies each, solely through “underground” distribution.

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But the fate of High Times tacked closely with the culture’s attitude toward cannabis generally. Forçade committed suicide shortly before the anti-drug movement gained steam in the early 1980s. And as that decade ushered in an era of extremely strict drug laws, the Drug Enforcement Administration launched Operation Green Merchant, which specifically targeted sellers of marijuana-growing equipment who advertised in the magazine. The crackdown was a low point for High Times, and as advertisers fled out of fear of law…

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