Cannabist editor Ricardo Baca, left, and High Times editor-in-chief Chris Simunek at the Horseshoe Lounge in Denver, Colo. (Lindsay Pierce, The Denver Post)

Video: High Times editor talks Cannabis Cup, activism

"We report the news, but it is from the point of view that marijuana is a relatively safe intoxicant for adult use and people should not be going to jail for it," said Simunek.

With the arrival of the Cannabis Cup and 4/20 weekend in Denver comes thousands of out-of-towners who pull their paychecks from the marijuana industry.

High Times magazine sent most of its New York-rooted staff to Colorado to work the Cup and mingle with the players in America’s only state that allows the legal sale of recreational marijuana — and that includes the magazine’s astute editor-in-chief Chris Simunek.


More from Simunek: Read the High Times’ editor-in-chief’s latest report for his magazine, on being stopped, frisked and groped by the NYPD near his Lower East Side digs.


Simunek and I sat down at the every-stylish Horseshoe Lounge on April 17 to talk about his job, my job (as editor of The Cannabist) and how what we do is both similar and dissimilar. One area where The Cannabist and High Times differ is journalistic style; Whereas The Cannabist is a product of the straightforward journalism of its parent company The Denver Post, High Times writes from the perspective of activism.

“We started as activists,” Simunek said in the video. “We were started by a radical activist by the name of Tom Forcade. We don’t feel the need to be objective about our opinion about marijuana whatsoever. We report the news, but it is from the point of view that marijuana is a relatively safe intoxicant for adult use and people should not be going to jail for it. Just by the way I’m explaining this you can see that I don’t really have an objective point of view on it.”

Props to my colleagues Lindsay Pierce and Mahala Gaylord for shooting, editing and doing such quality work.