“All but lost to highstory, High Times founder Tom Forcade led a brief, troubled, but ultimately triumphant life, often underground and always full speed ahead. At once a marijuana smuggler, weed dealer, renegade publisher, political activist, and cosmic prankster, Forcade came of age hot-rodding in his native Arizona, often having occasion to outrace the local police in the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. From his high-octane teenage years until his death in 1978 at age 33, the young outlaw from the wild West always felt most comfortable one step ahead of the law.
In addition to being bold, Tom Forcade was also brilliant, graduating from the University of Utah’s business administration program in just two-and-a-half years. Given his anti-establishment leanings, the choice of such a seemingly square college major reveals Forcade’s approach to revolution as a serious endeavor, requiring commitment, strategy, and plenty of money. But whether he was flying in a multi-ton shipment of Santa Marta Gold from Colombia or launching a national magazine in praise of America’s last taboo pleasure, the profit potential of each mission was always secondary to the thrill of adventure and the opportunity to support his favorite causes. Along with leaving $10,000 in cash on the doorstep of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) with an anonymous note encouraging other marijuana dealers to do the same, he also helped form the Rock Liberation Front to shake down major rock music promoters and make them donate a portion of their profits back to the emerging youth culture that had made them rich in the first place.”