Article by Sam Riches, Growth Op
Before it became an institution in the world of cannabis, High Times began as a joke.
The first issue was intended to be the only issue, a parody of Playboy with a cannabis plant as the centrefold. But the magazine resonated with readers and now, 46 years after the first issue was published, it’s opening up its vast digital archive to the public until May 20.
Email registration is required to access the content, but no credit card info is necessary.
Over the years, the magazine has published stories by the likes of William S. Burroughs and Charles Bukowski. It’s also interviewed Bob Marley, Hunter S. Thompson, Susan Sarandon and more.
Here are five of our favourite reads from the archives.
“I WAS JFK’S DEALER”
Over a meal, an anonymous source details his experience with the Kennedys and cannabis.
“Most of us who worked the South American or Middle Eastern regions for the government or press in the early ’60s were continually turned onto excellent grass and hash. Some of us have made some profit from our experience. I know many of these people were in a position to deal with Kennedy people.”
The High Times Interview: Susan Sarandon
The Oscar-winning actress discusses her personal history with cannabis in the type of wide-ranging interview that helped High Times ascend to the top of the cannabis world.
“I’m a huge believer that if more people smoked — not just for medicinal purposes, but for lifestyle purposes, instead of drinking — the world would be a better place.”
The High Times Interview: William S. Burroughs
The influential American author, who wrote Naked Lunch, Cities of the Red Night, The Soft Machine, and more, discusses the Beat-generation, addiction, fascism and the future.
Here, he describes one of the first times he tried cannabis:
“There wasn’t a federal law against marijuana until 1937. You just used to be able to buy it in novelty stores and pool rooms. Purple Weed. ‘Best stuff I ever handled… ‘ the guy told me. I bought some and smoked it in my room alone. I was 18 at the time. It just had a terrific effect and sent me off on laughing jags.”
The High Times Interview: Hunter S. Thompson
Thompson shares his thoughts on Jimmy Carter, the world of politics and his time on the campaign trail.
“I’ve always considered myself basically an anarchist, at least in the abstract, but every once in awhile you have to come out of the closet and deal with reality. I am interested in politics, but not as ideology, simply as an art of selfdefense—that’s what I learned in Chicago. I realized that you couldn’t afford to turn your back on the bastards because that’s what they would do—run amok and beat the shit out of you—and they had the power to do it. When I feel it’s necessary to get back into politics, I’ll do it, either writing about it or participating in it. But as long as it’s not necessary, there are a lot of better ways to spend your time. Buy an opium den in Singapore, or a brothel somewhere in Maine: become a hired killer in Rhodesia or some kind of human Judas Goat in the Golden Triangle. Yeah, a soldier of fortune, a professional geek who’ll do anything for money.”