Dr. David Smith, who was involved with the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic. Called the "Hightime Desk Reference" (in deference to the PDR [Physician's Desk Reference] no doubt), this feature furnished technical information on a specific drug, any nicknames, use and effects, hazards, first aid, economics, and addiction liability--an abuse folio. The drugs covered ranged from the expected quaaludes, or methaqualone, and cocaine to those that would not be normally expected to be covered: caffeine pills, alcohol, and over-the-counter cold remedies.
Actually, there was some antidrug propagandizing in the pages of High Times, most notable immediately after Gabrielle Schang became editor in the early eighties. She described an editorial stance previously in effect that prohibited printing "anything bad about dope, not even bring-down bummer shit like angel dust, or those new boot ludes." She further explained that her editorial plans included "sweep[ing] out reckless dope journalism and open[ing] up the magazine to more kinds of highs like hang gliding . . . and honest simple love." 6
In the eighties, it has been noted, High Times has become "obsessed with botany. Pages that once carried ads for roach clips, flavored rolling papers, and hookahs, now carry ads for powerful indoor 'grow lamps,' kits to detect the sex of cannabis plants. . . . The new cultural heroes are cultivators--[Ed] Rosenthal himself, author of the Marijuana Growers Handbook, and Jorge Cervantes, author of Indoor Marijuana Culture." 7 While on the one hand, High Times supports and advocates marijuana use and cultivation, it "does not glorify cocaine: 'The coke lifestyle, it's pretty disgusting,' says Steven Hager, executive editor." 8 Since marijuana no longer is symbolic of a rebellious or avant-grade life style, High Times by association has become, if not respectable, then at least more sedate, with above-mentioned columnist Ed Rosenthal being described as "the Ann Landers of the marijuana world," and its major area of interest "a major domestic cottage industry." 9
Carter, Betsy. "High Society Rag," Newsweek, 8 September 1975, p. 49.
Glassman, James K., "Going to Seed," New Republic, 25 August 1986, pp. 11-13.