Oliver Stone smokes a blunt on the cover of HIGH TIMES

Oliver Stone is on the cover of the August issue of High Times magazine smoking a joint.

It's the latest in a aggressive publicity campaign for Savages, Stone's latest flick. Savages stars Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Blake Lively, Uma Thurman, Salma Hayak, John Travolta, and Benicio del Toro in a film about a pair of marijuana growers who confront a Mexican drug cartel after their girlfriend is kidnapped.

Savages
premieres in theaters July 6, 2012.

Director Oliver Stone tributes his latest flick on the cover of High Times smoking marijuana. There will be plenty more promotional covers for Stone, particularly if Savages is critically received, but the cover of High Times fast forwards Stone in the arguments for decriminalization and at the very least cannabis medical legalization.

Stone’s High Times cover will appear in the August 2012 edition.

High Times has been around for a while now (37 years). It’s a pro-marijuana magazine with discussions on marijuana strains, links to 420.com, a popular marijuana smoker’s site. High Times hails internationally cherished marijuana smoker events in Amsterdam, a nation that has become increasingly curious about the nationalities of its customers, even if they’re purchasing post cards.

And Savages advocates growing marijuana. High Times has a new editor in chief, Chris Simunek. After the photo shoot and Oliver Stone’s cover was a done deal, Simunek announced that he is proud pleased that Oliver Stone stepped up to be on the August 2012 cover of the magazine. Subjects covered in the interview include his new movie Savages, his criticisms of American foreign intervention and the global drug war. In addition, the three-time Academy Award-winning director makes no bones about his fondness for cannabis.

Simunek says, "We applaud Oliver Stone for showing the same sort of courage in his support for the marijuana cause that he's shown with so many other issues, past and present. HIGH TIMES has always championed the rebel with a cause, and when people of Mr. Stone's renown speak up -- and smoke up -- in the public sector, it exposes one more chink in the armor of idiocy that protects the status quo."

Simunek, author of the gonzo classic, Paradise Burning: Adventures of a HIGH TIMES Journalist, wants to revive the strong journalism for which the 37-year-old magazine is known. "We have the cultivation thing and the bud shots well-covered. I'm looking for a few good writers to report on the Drug War, politics and to write some kick-ass, hilarious gonzo stuff. Getting Oliver Stone to blaze up on the cover was a big coup."

Indeed there are not many pro-marijuana films coming out of Hollywood with plots that center strictly on marijuana. A number of films over the decades have included marijuana use, but stories about the war on drugs are typically gangster flicks. Blow, starring Johnny Depp, was the last big film to explore the drug war and the penalty pushers pay. The Hangover comically looks at the end results of a supreme high. Meryl Streep and Steve Martin smoke a joint together in the film “It’s Complicated.” Pineapple Express is pure comedy with a marijuana centered plot.

Savages is billed as a crime-thriller based on 2012 book Savages written by Don Winslow. The book is written in an “us against them” scenario concerned with borders, rights, race and weed. Salma Hayek and Benicio del Toro play leaders of the drug cartel. John Travolta stars as a DEA agent, and Uma Thurman stars as the mom of one of the growers on a mission to retrieve his and his friend’s girlfriend.

More on Savages, Oliver Martin and Taylor Kitsch from HULIQ here.

photocredit: PR NEWSWIRE/HIGH TIMES magazine