Lifestyle & Belief

'High Times' magazine writer charged with selling marijuana wholesale


James Franco arrives at High Times Magazine's 8th Annual Stony Awards at Malibu Inn on September 27, 2008 in Malibu, California. A senior writer for the magazine is facing charges for distributing marijuana wholesale as part of a multi-million dollar pot ring.


Timothy Norris

Matthew Woodstock Stang, a senior writer and advertising executive at High Times magazine, has been charged by the Manhattan District Attorney's office for the wholesale distribution of multiple tons of marijuana, the Daily Beast reported

Stang allegedly distributed marijuana grown indoors near the Miami, Florida area as part of a multi-million dollar pot ring. His lawyers are currently in negotiations with the District Attorney's office, The Inquisitr reported.

The pot was manufactured in the Miami area and shipped to New York alongside merchandise in tractor trailers to New York-based ringleader Geovanny “Manny” Rodriguez Perez, the Inquisitr reported. The marijuana ring is allegedly responsible for multiple acts of drug-related violence, the Inquisitr reported. 

Roc-A-Fella records co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke, who is also allegedly involved in the ring, was arrested on Saturday at his home North Bergen, New Jersey in connection to operation “Green Venom,” in which over 177 pounds of marijuana and $2 million in profits have already been seized, according to the Inquisitr. 

Both Burke and Stang were originally arrested in connection to the drug smuggling in October 2010. Stang was released on $500,000 bail and ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet, according to NBC News New York

Burke pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of conspiracy to distribute some 200 pounds of marijuana, according to the Daily Beast. Stang still faces the much more serious charge of wholesaling pot, and could face 10 years to life in prison if convicted, the Daily Beast Reported. As one federal agent said when Stang was first arrested in 2010, it’s “a case of art imitating real life.”

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High Times, which publishes advertising and editorial content about marijuana and other psychedelic drugs, has long drawn scrutiny from law enforcement. DEA agents have called it “the middle man in a dope deal,” according to the Daily Beast. Its operations have been investigated by three grand juries since its founding in 1974, according to Michael Kennedy, a High Times lawyer interviewed by The Washington Post in 2004.

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