I've been thinking about starting this thread for awhile now, and this Politico article seems like a good jumping-off point: How Legal Weed Destroyed a Countercultural Icon ... that icon being High Times. Many of us are old enough to remember its heyday.
The first issue of the drug-centric magazine was intended as a spoof of Playboy, with a centerfold close-up shot of a marijuana flower in place of the older magazine’s pictures of naked women. To get the magazine out, Forcade distributed it through the dealers he sold his smuggled weed to.
The publication elevated an illicit pastime into a full-blown subculture.
“It united stoners all around the world,” actor Tommy Chong has said. “We always knew that there were other stoners out there, but until High Times magazine came along, no publication had devoted everything to the weed.”
It was an instant hit, and its circulation quickly climbed into the hundreds of thousands. “High Times was a rocket. It was the Playboy of pot. It was the Playboy of drugs,” gushed Steve Bloom, who joined the magazine in the ’80s and rose to be its top editor.