Jack Herer: The Emperor of Hemp

Here is another look at one of the heroes that helped create the ganja-landscape. Our featured hero in the cannabis industry is Mr. Jack Herer. Unknown to some, he is not the typical weed enthusiast that we are thinking of. Despite being a weed enthusiast, he never tried cannabis until his 30s.

Arguably, Jack Herer is an iconic hemp activist in history. His work left a huge mark in the cannabis industry, especially in the campaign for legalization. This man is known for his radical and passionate views about cannabis, the prohibitions, and the potentials of the hemp plant. 

Let us continue to take a sneak peek on this amazing hero’s life in the cannabis industry.

Jack Herer As An Unlikely Hemp Emperor

He was born in a conservative Jewish family in the year 1939. He grew up in Buffalo and served in the army as MP when he was 17. During his late twenties, he got married. He had three beautiful children. He was living a regular life.

Jack was a good guy, dubbed as a straightforward and proud American. He shared the conservative and traditional values of Americans. To note, he was in favor of America’s role in Vietnam. He even tagged the anti-war protesters as the “most un-American kids in the world.”

Being in the army, Jack was always a well-directed and rule-oriented individual. He hated marijuana because of its association with the hippie movements and the subcultures related to it. Admittedly, he feared the substance due to its “reefer madness” influence.

Jack Herer And His Relationship With Weed

Knowing that this guy did not try weeding all his life, what might lead him to stand for weed? Anyone would not imagine a hardworking, conservative guy turning into the most prominent cannabis activist on the planet. 

As Jack recalled in his interview, his first weed experience was with his girlfriend. When Jack Herer had a divorce with his wife in the 1960s, his girlfriend introduced him to marijuana. 

During his interview, he recalled that his first weed experience made him feel all the wonderful sensations brought about by the substance. He then questioned why it is illegal. From there, Jack’s life turned differently.

Jack Herer And His Initial Works For Marijuana

Upon feeling the pleasant sensation induced by marijuana, his life suddenly shifted. In 1973, Jack co-authored a cartoon book with his friend Al Emmanuel. It was titled Grass: Revolutionary American Standard System. This opened up the path for a long journey in the cannabis industry.

To his surprise, the book sold about 30,000 copies. In an instant, he became a pot authority.

Jack And His Marijuana Journey

As he started in the industry, people thought that he was very knowledgeable about marijuana. He was not. According to Jack, he could not even recognize a marijuana plant if he came across marijuana growing in the field.

Eventually, he learns about the plant, its complexities along with its benefits.

He started to know the difference between hemp and marijuana and its relationship to cannabis. He learns more about the industrial benefits of the plant. The various use of cannabis was the main reason for his activism in the succeeding years.

Jack And The Other Activists

As a new activist, he started to reach out to other activist groups. He reached out and invited them to join forces. Unfortunately, the other groups did not join him in his crusade for hemp.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) was one of the groups that Jack approached. They were not eager to join him because it mainly focuses on the criminalization of cannabis and the problems it poses to cannabis users. Hemp, which Jack Herer mainly fought for, was just a secondary issue for other groups. Sadly, his message and platforms only fell into the deaf ears of the people he approached.

However, with his eagerness to pursue his platform and his voice heard, he was able to find a good colleague. He met Captain Ed. He is the owner of Ed’s H&H Shoppe in Los Angeles. They worked it out together. They gathered thousands of signatures about hard-hitting cannabis and the various hemp issues in the next few years.

In an interview, Jack said that the two of them pledged. They pledge not to stop working for their cannabis platform until they are dead, it becomes legal, or they will turn 84 years old. He said that he gets frustrated and finds it very unjust to jail someone due to cannabis use.

Jack's Revelation: Hemp Could Save The World

According to Jack Herer, he experienced a sort of revelation that hemp can save the world. With the knowledge about the plant, he has high beliefs that the plant could potentially save the world through its different benefits. 

He realized that many products might be manufactured using hemp. Products coming from trees, fiber, and petroleum can be manufactured with the help of hemp plants. He believed that hemp could be the backbone of the industries worldwide. According to him, hemp is the solution for global issues such as global warming, pollution, deforestation, and more.

He testified that the fight for hemp was not easy. No one fully believed in his newfound hope on hemp. His kids thought that he had gone overboard. Like other activists such as NORML, they lost faith that marijuana would be able to change the world. Nor does a self-respecting person will come and join a marijuana movement.

But, full of hope and eagerness, Jack stood by his platform. In 1979, he and Adair were able to open the first hemp store in the US. It was a small outdoor stand and was located along Venice Beach in California. Soon, he became an icon of the famous Venice Boardwalk.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes

In the 1980s, the US’ zero-tolerance policy against cannabis and other drugs was promulgated. Unfortunately, Jack, together with his co-protesters, was arrested while campaigning for cannabis reform. He refused to pay the $5 fine. In 1983, he was sent to a federal prison at Terminal Island in California.

Similar to other revolutionaries, he wrote a book while in prison. His published book was The Emperor Wears No Clothes. It became an underground phenomenon and hit the shelf, selling over 60,000 copies worldwide in its eleven editions. That was the most prominent publication on cannabis and hemp ever recorded.

The book was referred to as the “hemp bible.” It documents the complicated and the forgotten history of the hemp plant. It covers all its beneficial use in the medical, commercial, and industrial sectors. The book was used by Jack as an instrument to shed light on the issues of cannabis prohibition. In the long run, this served as the groundwork for the existing campaigns of legalization at present.

Included in the book is the use of hemp fuel, which was Jack’s biggest passion. It proposes that hemp can power the world’s energy. With this idea, he believed that it is an excellent solution to global warming, pollution, and deforestation.

Lastly, as written in the book, a $50,000 offer will be given to anyone who can prove that Jack is wrong with all his theories and platforms.

The Death Of The Emperor

Jack suffered from a minor heart attack in 2000. He had a stroke. He had difficulty speaking and moving the right side of his body. Fortunately, he recovered from a severe condition. He claimed that the psychoactive mushroom known as Amanita muscaria eased his recovery.

However, Jack suffered another attack in 2009. The complications of his medical condition led to his death in 2010.

The Emperor's Legacy

Undeniably, Jack is an icon behind the legalization of cannabis. In the duration of his fight for legalization, he had his share of criticism. Several doctors in Europe, like Dr. Hayo M. G. van der Werf, criticized his presented arguments in the book that he has written.

However, despite the noted flaws in his works and theories, Jack deserves recognition for his passion for legalizing cannabis. People should be grateful for his literary pieces and active involvement in the legalization of cannabis. It is both passion and courage. 

To honor his courage, passion, and commitment to the cannabis industry, manufacturers of cannabis products show their sign of gratefulness to the icon. Sensi Sees formulated an Indica/Sativa strain that is powerful in memory of the late emperor. The strain was named Jack Herer.

The icon fought a good fight. He lives his life, fighting for the benefits of cannabis to humankind. Indeed, he is a superhero. His works brought the cannabis industry to its pedestal in the current era. Without his work, people might not experience the benefits of cannabis. 

Jack Herer is historically an iconic hemp activist. His work left an immense mark in the cannabis industry , particularly in the legalization movement. This man is known for his extreme and strong views on cannabis, the bans and the hemp plant ‘s potential.

Thanks to him. Thanks to the people who listened to him. Thanks to his brilliant mindset. It was a long road, but he finished the race with a victory. \

A snappy salute to the emperor – Mr. Jack Here.