obituaries

High Times chairman Michael Kennedy dies

Posted on January 25th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Michael KennedyAttorney Michael Kennedy, the longtime guiding force behind High Times magazine, died of complications from an illness in New York Jan. 25 at the age of 78. He was the lawyer for High Times founder Tom Forçade, the notorious marijuana smuggler and political radical who started the magazine in 1974.

Remembering Judith Malina, matriarch of Living Theatre

Posted on April 16th, 2015 by Baba Israel and tagged , , , , , , .

Judith MalinaJudith Malina, co-founder of the legendary Living Theatre, a ground-breaking and activist-oriented troupe that helped pioneer the countercultural explosion of the 1960s and still challenges audiences today, died April 10 at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, NJ. She was 88 and still actively involved in the Living Theatre. This remembrance is offered by Baba Israel, a New York-based hip-hop artist and cultural worker whose parents were core members of the Living Theatre.Global Ganja Report

Judge Gustin Reichbach, medical cannabis advocate, dead at 65

Posted on July 18th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

ReichbachBrooklyn judge Gustin Reichbach, who won notoriety two months ago when he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times expressing his support for medical marijuana, died July 14 after a nearly three-year struggle with pancreatic cancer. In his May 16 op-ed, he wrote: "My survival has demanded an enormous price, including months of chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery... Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep." 

Steve Ben Israel, NYC counter-culture legend, dead at 74

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Steve Ben Israel, legendary thespian, veteran of the ground-breaking Living Theatre troupe, and pioneer of what he called "performance life" (as opposed to performance art), died June 4 of lung cancer at his home in New York's Greenwich Village. He was 74.

Veteran Yippie Ben Masel dead at 56

Posted on April 30th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Veteran Yippie activist and cannabis crusader Ben Masel died April 27 at his home in Madison, Wisc. He had been suffering from terminal lung cancer. Known for founding the Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival, the Bronx-born Masel moved to Madison in 1971 and was a fixture in politics there ever since. He frequently ran for public office—including sheriff of Dane County—on a pro-legalization platform, and sometimes on the Republican ticket, just to tweak the local GOP establishment.

Veteran Fug Tuli Kupferberg dead at 86

Posted on July 12th, 2010 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

TuliCounterculture legend Tuli Kupferberg, co-founder of The Fugs and self-described "world’s oldest rock star," died July 12 in Manhattan at the age of 86. He had been in poor health since suffering two strokes last year, said Ed Sanders, his longtime friend and fellow Fug.

Poet Peter Orlovsky dead at 76

Posted on June 1st, 2010 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Peter Orlovsky Peter Orlovsky, longtime partner of Allen Ginsberg and a renowned poet and counterculture figure in his own right, died May 30 in Vermont of lung cancer. He was 76.

The Los Angeles Times recalls that Orlovsky met Ginsberg in San Francisco in 1954, just before Ginsberg wrote his seminal poem, "Howl," which was the subject of a 1957 obscenity trial that became a landmark free-expression case. Ginsberg and Orlovsky later moved to Paris, where they stayed with Gregory Corso, William Burroughs and others in a boarding house that would become known as the Beat Hotel. In the early 1960s, Orlovsky and Ginsberg traveled in India together, where they both became devotees of meditation and eastern mysticism.

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