Flashback: On Meeting Thomas King Forcade

Just before I met Thomas King Forcade, née Gary Goodson, I could smell him. It was not new-mown hay. Black-clad, black boots, hatless, bag carrying, smiling a lot, saying, “Michael.”

Hug, handshake, hands me the bag. I think it’s dope, maybe a skunk. “Open it.” Smelly money. Perfect. Lawyer’s wet dream.

“I need representation. Grand Jury invitation. Conspiracy to smuggle dope. Conspiracy bullshit. No time to conspire. Too busy smuggling… We are not about money, the bag is yours.” San Francisco, 1973.  Another citizen snatched from the jaws of justice.

Tom and I became friends. We had five years of revolutionary pretense and fucking with the begrudgers. There were more Grand Juries, betrayals and sordid legal encounters. Tom brought street theater to everything he did.

High Times was all theater. 1974, New York. Tom had publishing experience, muckraking; he preferred shit-disturbing.

Tom: “You know why I created High Times? Use a First Amendment-protected vehicle like a magazine to subvert marijuana prohibition by teaching the world how to grow marijuana anywhere. The government will never be able to control the means of production i.e. growing marijuana, nor will the forces of repression be able to control the demand for marijuana.”

Marijuana has become increasingly popular over the years. The wasteful, mindless and brutally destructive war on drugs was lost long ago. Drugs have won.

— Michael Kennedy
Chairman, High Times

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