It all started in the early '60s, with a fateful trip across the country in a psychedelic school bus, a journey that ended in New York City, which would become Forcade's adopted hometown. Arriving in a freewheeling, swashbuckling era with mild pot laws and relatively little enforcement, Forcade smuggled marijuana into America as part of a loose-knit, anarchistic brotherhood known as the Hippie Mafia.

Far-wandering flower children had found insanely cheap high-grade herb all over the world, and returning Vietnam vets knew how to pilot small planes, navigate international waters, and organize the military-style operations necessary to bring the weed back home to America. For his part, Forcade flew down to South America, rode ferry boats out to meet supply ships, drove getaway cars faster than the cops could follow, and once, when he couldn't escape on wings, water, or wheels, took off on foot, subsequently spending two days stuck in the middle of a swamp, soaking wet and surrounded, until he finally crawled past the police barricade inch by inch on his hands and knees while the pigs sat in their cars to avoid the mosquitos.

1974 HIGH TIMES Magazine Cover

With pot coming in by the planeload, offloaded by forklift and secured in stash houses set up all over Manhattan, Forcade oversaw a vast and profitable empire and used his clout, connections, and free-flowing cannabis to establish himself as a major player in the radical politics of the time, albeit usually behind the scenes. Despite his business degree, this was one "hip" capitalist who never saw his illicit operations as a way to get rich or famous, but rather as a revenue stream capable of funding his higher callings.