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June 18, 2021

Celebrating Jack Herer

On this day, June 18th, we celebrate Jack “The Hemperor” Herer. Born in 1939 Herer was a huge influence and pivotal person in the fight for legalization of cannabis and hemp. Born in New York City Jack was an avid patriot and served in the Korean war as a military policeman. Thomas Paine as one of his heroes and “…thought that [America] was the best country in the world, with the best people,”. Always having a thirst for knowledge he was constantly reading, researching and asking questions to expand his knowledge on cannabis and hemp benefits. He opened the first hemp store in Venice Beach in 1972 hoping to enlighten people on the benefits of cannabis. His continued drive to educate people about the benefits of hemp and cannabis made him quickly become the leader in the revolution to legalization.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes

In 1983 Jack served a two week stint in prison for refusing to pay a five dollar for registering voters. While in prison he started writing The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a piece about the history of hemp and its endless possibilities. The Emperor Wears No Clothes otherwise known as “The Bible of Hemp” speaks on hemp and the cannabis plant being a renewable source of medicine, fuel and food. Along with the potential of replacing fossil fuels and therefore ending deforestation, pollution and climate change the book is still referenced by many today. It’s seen as a manifesto for the current cannabis legalization movement selling almost one million copies in five languages.

Political Activism

With a passion for grassroots activism, Jack’s charisma and continuous need for knowledge proved to make him a great leader and influence. He ran for president twice once in 1988 and in 1992, not necessarily to win the presidency but simply hoping to raise awareness and encourage people to get out and vote. A magnetic leader, Herer spent 30 years working to legalize cannabis in California and as a result he set the stage for the continued legalization we see across the country today.

Jack Herer passed away from complications of a heart attack in April 2010. Ironically on tax day after not filing taxes for 30 years the serendipity is too great.

Works Cited

Rogers, Paul. “The Hero of Hemp.” JackHerer.com, jackherer.com/about-2/.

Times, High. “Honoring the Legend: Jack Herer.” High Times, 18 June 2019, hightimes.com/sponsored/honoring-the-legend-jack-herer/.