Ed Rosenthal is an icon—an OG in the cannabis space with more than a dozen educational books on growing the plant in print. He’s known as an authority on the subject, teaching long-running classes at prestigious Oaksterdam University in Oakland, California, where he makes his home with his wife and partner of more than 30 years, Jane Klein.
As one of the founders of High Times Magazine in New York City in 1974, Ed was dubbed the Guru of Ganja, writing his “Ask Ed” column for more than 20 years—long before online community forums or social media were places to gather and share information.
“Tom Forcade, Ron Lichty, and myself developed the concept for the magazine,” Ed shared. “I’d been doing statistical analysis based on a paper by Peter Knocke comparing the number of imported rolling papers over five to six years. The implication was that any increase in imports was generated by increased cannabis use. We looked at other factors as well to guesstimate the number of people using cannabis, including how many joints a day someone would smoke. Our conclusion was that the number of cannabis was vastly underestimated and a large enough community to support a monthly magazine.”
This scientific approach to the early stages of launching a national magazine entirely about weed was encouraging to the team, who were already fringe journalists and cannabis rights activists in the 1970s and had run the Underground Press Syndicate for many years.
“We mapped out 100 stories we thought we could publish, including my column,” Ed added. “Those stories became the first two years of the magazine. We didn’t have any ads at first, so we used national mainstream ads without permission, and that brought in a lot of advertisers to follow.”
As a journalist, Ed was embedded …
Author: Sharon Letts / High Times