Today is Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s birthday and we need to acknowledge our debt. For the past forty years and for over three generations almost anyone who ever wound up writing professionally about pot or psychedelics, drugs or drug wars, cutting-edge cultures, or political fools probably started out wanting to be just like Hunter Thompson.

That would certainly include most of the current HIGH TIMES staff.

Dr. Thompson pretty much invented (and perfected) what we are blessed to do for a living; and judging from the frequency that his name pops up around this office, he remains our greatest influence. His work continues to evoke the highest possible standard for writing about these madcap subjects, a standard to which we can only always hope to aspire.

So happy birthday, Doc – and thanks for the job.

Read NORML founder Keith Stroup's account of his 30-year friendship with Thompson: Fear and Loathing in the Marijuana Movement.