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Jim Hogshire
Photographer Unknown
Jim Hogshire
Photographer Unknown, 1996
Erowid Character Vaults
Jim Hogshire
James Frederick Hogshire received his MA in Italian literature from Indiana University Bloomington. He's worked as a cab driver, a deck boy, and a writer for the 1993 short film Phone (starring Linda Blair), and has been published in numerous magazines, including Details, Gentlemen's Quarterly, and Harpers. He is know for his books on unusual topics: supermarket tabloids (Jim wrote for a couple of years for The National Examiner), working as a human guinea pig, America's national obsession with pharmaceuticals, and what to expect if you're headed toward a stint in prison. The 2006 movie Let's Go to Prison starring Dax Shepard and Will Arnett was inspired by Jim's 1994 book You Are Going To Prison, which was Esquire magazine's "Book of the Year" in 1995.

In a sadly ironic turn of events, Jim was himself at one point facing a possible prison sentence due to charges instigated by the actions of fellow Loompanics author and "citizen informant" Bob Black, who--after having an argument with Jim--encouraged the Seattle police to raid Jim's apartment by claiming that it was "a drug laboratory" where Jim had told him that he was "working out a way to manufacture heroin from Sudafed." [Note Bob Black disputes Hogshire's version of this story.] To back up this chemically absurd and otherwise spurious claim, Black noted that Jim had written a book titled Opium for the Masses. On March 6, 1996, more than a dozen members of the Seattle Police Department Narcotics Unit stormed Jim's apartment, seizing assorted items, including a "scale" logged as drug paraphernalia, which was actually a coffee mug warmer. Among the items they confiscated was a sealed florist's box containing cellophane-wrapped long-stem dried poppies. Jim and his wife Heidi spent three days in jail; Jim was charged with possession and intent to manufacture opium poppies, Heidi was charged with possession of opium poppies. When the case went to court, the judge dismissed the charges due to insufficient evidence.

In May of 1991, using the pseudonym Chet Antonini, Jim began to publish the beloved underground zine Pills-a-go-go. It dealt with pharmaceuticals, vitamins, amino acids, and other pill-related topics, often focusing on recreational uses, and featuring first-person accounts, tips, news, and more. Initially a two-page monthly, it later shifted to longer issues that were produced one to six times per year, concluding with issue #23 in 1996. Not only did Jim have the nightmare of his arrest described above to deal with, but his Barnes & Noble and Borders distribution were yanked after a copy of Pills-a-go-go with a Barnes & Noble price sticker on it was discovered in the room of a teenager who had committed suicide. However, in 1999 Jim combined some of the material that appeared in past issues of his zine along with new material and countless wonderful historical illustrations into the book Pills-a-go-go: A Fiendish Investigation into Pill Marketing, Art, History & Consumption.

"The pill is the quintessential icon of Western Civilization. One small tablet embodies our history, our world view, our vision of the future. It is the perfect, symbolic encapsulation of man's progress--from the ancient Phoenicians to the internet."
-- Jim Hogshire, Pills-a-Go-Go: A Fiendish Investigation into Pill Marketing, Art, History & Consumption, 1999

Author of (Books)
  • Opium for the Masses: Harvesting Nature's Best Pain Medication [expanded new edition of 1994 book] (2009)
  • Pills-a-go-go: A Fiendish Investigation into Pill Marketing, Art, History & Consumption (1999)
  • Grossed-Out Surgeon Vomits Inside Patient!: An Insider's Look at the Supermarket Tabloids (1997)
  • Opium for the Masses: A Practical Guide to Growing Poppies and Making Opium (1994)
  • You Are Going To Prison (1994)
  • Sell Yourself to Science: The Complete Guide to Selling Your Organs, Body Fluids, Bodily Functions and Being a Human Guinea Pig (1992)
  • Author of (Book Chapters)
  • "How the DEA Scrubbed Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Poppy Garden from Public Memory", excerpt from Opium for the Masses: Harvesting Nature's Best Pain Medication published on AlterNet (Mar 2010)
  • "Prison Wine", short excerpt from You Are Going To Prison posted on zine/blog The Sneeze (Jun 2005)
  • "Poppy Cock: Truth and Lies about Poppies, Opium, and Painkilling Drugs" in You Are Being Lied To: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths edited by Russ Kick (2001)
  • "The Electric Cough Syrup Acid Test" in White Rabbit: A Psychedelic Reader edited by John Miller and Randall Koral (1995)
  • Author of (Articles)
  • "US GE: The Drug War's Fungal Solution?", Covert Action Quarterly (Spring 1998)
  • "The Electric Cough-Syrup Acid Test" in Harper's Magazine (Jun 1993)
  • "Dying, in Part(s), for Dollars" in Harper's Magazine (Aug 1992)
  • "Animals and Islam", The Animals Agenda (Oct 1991)
  • Articles (About)
  • "Jim Hogshire and the SPD Epiphany" by Matt Crowley (Dec 2009)
  • "Jim Hogshire: Writer, Scholar, and Champion of the Free Press" by Alison Wyner and Jenny Eudy, Letter of the Law (Feb 1999)
  • "Opium Made Easy: One Gardener's Encounter with the War on Drugs" by Michael Pollan, Harper's Magazine (Apr 1997)
  • "Slap Shots: Trouble in the Underground" By Jack Boulware, SF Weekly (Jun 5, 1996)
  • "SWAT Team Busts Writer for his Books" by Adam Parfrey of Feral House (May 1996)
  • "Author of Opium for the Masses Arrested for Possessing Poppies" by Richard Glen Boire, The Entheogen Law Reporter 11 (Summer 1996)
  • "My Date with Jim Hogshire (Version 2.1)" by Bob Black
  • Bob Black's Letter to Seattle Police (Feb 21, 1996)
  • Hogshire on Black
  • Interviews
  • "Reptilian Thoughts", interviewed by Chip Rowe, Chip's Closet Cleaner