Steven Hager became Editor in Chief of High Times magazine in 1987. Back then he created the first hemp legislation group, the High Times Freedom Fighters, and created the World Hemp Expo Extravaganja as well as the Cannabis Cup.
The Counterculture Hall of Fame was set up “to celebrate the history of the counterculture by recognizing its saints”, as Mr Hager says. Every year around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the prestigious award is given to a person that has made history by founding, living and/or leading a counterculture.
The list of Inductees is quite long and impressive, as Sensi Seeds readers can see for themselves:
- 1997 – Bob Marley, Jamaican singer, song-writer and committed Rastafarian. The first person to be inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame.
- 1998 – Louis Armstrong, Jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans and Mezz Mezzrow, Jazz clarinettist and saxophonist from Chicago. Inducted by John Sinclair. Both used cannabis their entire adult lives.
- 1999 – the Four Beats, also known as the Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet; his long-time muse Neal Cassady; Allen Ginsberg, American poet, best known for his epic poem Howl (in which Neal Cassady is also referenced); and William S. Burroughs, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, spoken word performer and author of the novel Naked Lunch.
- 2000 – Ina May Gaskin, the “mother of authentic midwifery”, founder of The Farm and so called “Goddess”. She was the first woman, and also the first living inductee, to the Counterculture Hall of Fame.
- 2001 – Paul Krassner, American author, journalist, comedian, and founding member of the Yippies, a counterculture press.
- 2002 – Bob Dylan, American musician, singer-songwriter, artist, writer and figurehead of social unrest in the 60s, and Joan Baez, American folk singer, songwriter, musician and activist.
- 2003 – American cannabis activist, author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes and very dear friend of Sensi Seeds, Jack Herer.
- 2004 – Stephen Gaskin, counterculture hippie icon and co-founder of The Farm, a famous spiritual community in Summertown, Tennessee.
- 2005 – John Trudell, American author, poet, actor, musician, and former political activist.
- 2006 – Barry “Plunker” Adams and Carrick Beck, veterans of the Rainbow family, a group of individuals committed to principles of non-violence and egalitarianism.
- 2007 – Tommy Chong, Canadian American comedian, actor, writer, director, activist and musician, well known for his marijuana-themed “Cheech & Chong” comedy movies and Cheech Marin, Mexican American comedian, actor, voice actor and writer who gained recognition as part of the same comedy act.
- 2008 – Peter Tosh, Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers and promoter of Rastafari.
- 2009 – Thomas King Forcade, American underground journalist and activist in the 1970s as well as founder of High Times magazine in the summer of 1974. For many years he ran the Underground Press.
- 2010 – Coke La Rock, old school New York City rapper. The first MC in the history of hip-hop.
- 2011 – John Griggs, who started BEL (Brotherhood of Eternal Love), a spiritual organization of drug users and distributors in the late 1960s.
- 2012 – Steven Hager, Editor in Chief of High Times Magazine and instigator of the Counterculture Hall of Fame.
- 2013 – Ben Dronkers, Dutch entrepreneur, cannabis activist and legendary founder of Sensi Seeds. Thanks to Mr Dronkers, the Sensi Seed Bank is one of the most accepted and prestigious organizations of its kind in cannabis history. He shares his passion and knowledge about hemp and cannabis at the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam and Barcelona as well as the Hemp Museum Gallery. With HempFlax he reintroduced an environmentally friendly, economically sound, traditional crop to his homeland and to the rest of the world.
All of the above people have been rebels in their own ways. They have fought their individual battles and stood up for their ideas and beliefs. This is what High Times magazine honours them for.
But where is the Counterculture Hall of Fame actually located? Where can people go to be close to their heroes, their saints? Back in 2010, Woodstock in New York State or Fairfax in Marin County California were being discussed. Perhaps the Counterculture Hall of Fame is characterized by not needing a physical address, no place of pilgrimage that cannabis and counterculture enthusiasts can visit; it exists on a different level. That makes it different – pretty much what counterculture is all about.