Ten years after the Summer of Love in 1967, I wanted to celebrate that sublime and fickle moment in time. During that summer I attended the Legalise Pot Rally in Hyde Park,London, wearing leaves of a hedge row in my hair, a Zapato moustache, and a kaftan with a badge saying "No search without a warrant". 

After considering hiring the Roundhouse for a night of Love and Peace, I stumbled on to the idea of publishing a cannabis magazine like the new American High Times, and called it HomeGrown, Europe's first dope magazine.

I was in the throes of publishing Bryan Talbot's trilogy Brainstorm Comix, the adventures of Chester P Hackenbush, the psychedelic alchemist, now an underground classic. I published many HomeGrown graphic illustrators and cartoonists in the Mixed Bunch and Brainstorm Fantasy Comix. I had experience of publishing, editing, advertising, distribution, street selling and printing underground publications.

I published the Alchemical Almanac and Handbook of Herbal Highs in 1972. And an account of the overland journey to India, the Guide to the East in 1973. In the late Sixties I wrote articles, theatre reviews, and interviews for the underground press, I. T. (International times), Oz magazine and Other Scenes in New York.

I was the right person at the right time to publish a magazine on cannabis and the psychedelic experience. I Published ten issues of Homegrown from 1977 to 1982, a re-issue of No. 1, and a Best of Homegrown in 1994, altogether 170,000 copies.


HOMEGROWN is now being digitally delivered to a new generation on a global scale. The iconic dope magazine is now available online for the first time.

Homegrown was my "labour of love” and it captured the spirit of the times. It covered diverse subjects; the plight of cannabis smugglers languishing in prisons abroad, Free Festivals, the biggest LSD bust, Operation Julie, the Smokey Bears picnics, the campaign to legalise cannabis, the CIA drug experiments, the coffee shops of Amsterdam, Rastafarians and reggae, and the first International Cannabis Legalisation conference at the Kosmos in Amsterdam in 1980.

I was assisted by many contributing writers, co-editors, art directors, graphic illustrators and photographers over the five years. The three-part Beat Generation articles were written by me, as I fictionally placed myself in New York during the early Beat years, signing off as the Angel-headed Hipster.

I would like to give thanks to the many readers of Homegrown, some of whom still have their treasured copies, for the support and heart-warming feedback I received. What makes the magazine special for me, are the letters, campaign pages and adverts (which helped me break even), and friendships I made over the years.

Now in my eightieth year I can look back, moved and nostalgic, to the multitude of people who touched my life and whose life I have touched through the Homegrown years. We left a foot-print in the sand of time.

I will not dwell on the many hardships I endured, trials, police raids, censorship, financial difficulties, lurid sensational press coverage, and personal envy and animosity. Suffice to say it made me stronger and more motivated. I was lucky Io have a loyal and loving wife and two youngchildren during this period.


Some emotional highlights:

 Danny de Souza and Izmir Prison for the Observer

Danny de Souza and Izmir Prison for the Observer

Publishing Danny De Souza's prison letters from Turkey where he was caught smuggling five kilos of cannabis, and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. He served twelve years and I met him when he came home to the UK. He now lives in Turkey.

 

I first met Rick the Vic, Richard Mayes, aged 30, at his trial at Southend Crown Court where he was sentenced to nine month imprisonment for smoking cannabis with members of a punk rock group. He was disqualified from the priesthood even though the bishop who ordained him described him as “the best man of his year”. When he came out in 1979 we went to the stonehenge Free Festival Together. He has lived in Tipee Valley in Wales for many years and is now a grandfather. He is my Facebook friend.

 

John Higgins was a young medical artist working at a hospital when he showed me some of his artwork. He had not been published before and he did two covers for Homegrown issues No. 2 and 3, my favourite cover artwork. He went on to work for the comic 2000 AD and is the colourist for Alan Moore's watchmen. I met him in May this year for the first time since those halcyon days.
turmoilcolour.com

 

I published Harry Shapiro's early work on music and drugs, which he later turned into a book, Waiting For The Man, the story of drugs and popular music. He is editor of Drug Link and director of Drugwise. We are in regular contact. 
harryshapiro.co.uk

 

My favourite photographer must be the great Laurence Chemiak whose photos from The Great Book of Hashish, Volume 1, I published in issue No. 6. About ten years ago I bumped into him at Canna Business in Germany.
laurencecherniak.com

 

Out of the many cannabis enthusiasts who read and loved Homegrown, I single out Frank Kirk who bought a copy of Homegrown No. 1 at the Alchemy stall in the indoor market on the Portobello Road and gave his copy to the Cannabis Museum in Amsterdam where it lies to this day. Frank is my Facebook friend, and although we haven't met in person since then, when I was writing this piece I got a Facebook comment from him which just said “One Love’. I know that Frank has not been well, and I would like to wish him "One Love".
www.nimbinmardigrass.com

Welcome to 'Homegrown', Europe's first dope magazine, hope you enjoy it.

Stay High!

Lee Harris

 

 

Howard Marks Tribute

“He was an exquisite loveable rogue, a clever boy from the Valleys, a great brain who fitted in well with Oxford culture. He was a great adventurer who took great risks, but he became a legend because he was like the Scarlet Pimpernel, they could never find him. Later on he did all those sell out shows and people came who would never have thought of smoking of a joint. He was much loved and will be much missed”

Lee Harris : April 2016


 

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Book List

 

Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. 
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In this classic work, Herbert Marcuse takes as his starting point Freud's statement that civilization is based on the permanent subjugation of the human instincts, his reconstruction of the prehistory of mankind - to an interpretation of the basic trends of western civilization, stressing the philosophical and sociological implications.

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What is the common ground between Western psychiatry and Eastern philosophy, and what has each to learn from the other? Alan Watts found a common principle that, intentionally or otherwise, seems to be used wherever therapy is trying to overcome man's false sense of himself as an isolated ego -- an ego that traps him in a perpetual flight from death and loneliness.

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Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), a traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat, on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream. 

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Nightmarish and fiercely funny, William Burroughs' virtuoso, taboo-breaking masterpiece Naked Lunchfollows Bill Lee through Interzone: a surreal, orgiastic wasteland of drugs, depravity, political plots, paranoia, sadistic medical experiments and endless, gnawing addiction. One of the most shocking novels ever written, Naked Lunch is a cultural landmark, now in a restored edition incorporating Burroughs' notes on the text, alternate drafts and outtakes from the original.

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Part-autobiography, part-fiction - 'a Genet with a Genet stuffing, like the prunes of Tours', as Sartre put it - The Thief's Journal is an account of Genet's impoverished travels across Europe in the 1930s. Encompassing vagrancy, petty theft, and prostitution, the book transforms such degradations into the gilded rites of an inverted moral code, with Genet its most devout adherent. Betrayal becomes worship; delinquency, heroism. 

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The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, LONG WALK TO FREEDOM brilliantly recreates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. From his beginning in the Transkei to his being taken to Robben Island, this is the remarkable story of how a man rose so far, only to be sentenced to life imprisonment. Emotive and compelling, this is the story of an epic life.

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Portnoy's Complaint n. [after Alexander Portnoy (1933-)] A disorder in which strongly-felt ethical and altruistic impulses are perpetually warring with extreme sexual longings, often of a perverse nature. Spielvogel says: 'Acts of exhibitionism, voyeurism, fetishism, auto-eroticism and oral coitus are plentiful; as a consequence of the patient's "morality," however, neither fantasy nor act issues in genuine sexual gratification, but rather in overriding feelings of shame and the dread of retribution, particularly in the form of castration.' 
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"Cosmic Trigger deals with a process of deliberately induced brain change. This process is called "initiation" or "vision quest" in many traditional societies and can loosely be considered some dangerous variety of self-psychotherapy in modern terminology. I do not recommend it for everybody . . . briefly, the main thing I learned in my experiments is that "reality" is always plural and mutable." - Robert Anton Wilson from the Preface

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A Lama Foundation Book. Describes one man's transformation upon his acceptance of the principles of Yoga and gives a modern restatement of the importance of the spiritual side of man's nature. Illustrated.

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