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Background: There are few subjects more controversial and polarizing in American society than marijuana. Though mostly illegal -- save for occasional allowances for medical use in select states -- the drug is still praised and used by many, from 16-year-old high school students to middle-aged rappers (yes, Snoop, this means you).
High Times magazine was founded in 1974 by Tom Forcade, who forged his own intimate relationship with marijuana over years of smuggling it into the United States from Colombia and, of course, from smoking it. The magazine started as a joke when, according to High Times' newest editor-in-chief Chris Simunek, Forcade and a group of buddies talked about creating a print ode to the drug: the Playboy for pot, if you will. The publication thrived during the free-spirited '70s, but the '80s brought leaner times. Initially the publication showcased all drugs, including cocaine and LSD -- not a great idea in light of Nancy Reagan's War on Drugs and the realization for many that crack is, indeed, wack.