The first question I’m always asked when I tell people I work for High Times is: “How the hell did you land that job?”—usually immediately followed by: “And how can I get a job there?” Well, allow me to answer that question once and for all by relating the tale of my humble beginnings at the world’s greatest marijuana magazine.
Back in September of 1994, I was entering my senior year at Baruch College—a business school in New York City. All of my classmates were constantly decked out in suits, working themselves up into a frenzy over interviews, workshops, appointments, contacts, recommendation letters—anything they could do to get a leg up on what they perceived to be the “jungle” of the corporate world. Me? I was far more concerned with getting tickets to the next Danzig concert.
One Friday morning, I was sitting through my boring demographics and statistics class when my long-time school chum Delia leaned over and whispered, “Hey—I got a promotion at my job, so we’ll be needing a new ad intern, and I think you’d fit in perfectly. You’ve heard of High Times magazine, right?”
Was she crazy? I’d been smoking pot since I was 13—of course I’d heard of High Times. I was given my first copy at a party during my freshman year of high school, a gift from my best friend Paul, who—knowing how much I loved Led Zeppelin—passed along the issue with Robert Plant on the cover (April 1991). Since then, I’d bought a few issues myself, and borrowed and devoured all the copies I could from friends. After class, pacing nervously, I imagined what it might be like to work there as Delia went down the hall to make the call from a pay phone.
“Okay, I spoke to my boss, and he wants you to stop by around 4 p.m. The office is right down the block.” (Back in those days, the offices were located on 19th Street and Park Avenue.) “Here’s the address,” she said, handing me a slip of paper. “Wait—today? Are you crazy? I can’t go to a job interview like this!” I had no resume, no portfolio, and I was wearing ripped black jeans, a pair of black Pumas, a black Led Zeppelin T-shirt and a black leather jacket.