Cannabis Activist You Should Know: Jack Herer

jack-herrer-ccaWho was Jack Herer. Well I think the introduction of him in the Article “Hero of Hemp” by Paul Rogers sums it up very well, “Jack Herer was never an elected law-maker who could formally shape policy.  Nor was he some billionaire who could buy influence. Yet his rare combination of brilliant intellect, endless curiosity, scholarly diligence and passionate people skills made him a force of nature whose impact is perhaps only just beginning to be truly felt.”

To me Jack was the man that first opened my eyes to cannabis knowledge. I had started using cannabis to treat my pain associated with my fibromyalgia. I knew very little about cannabis at the time and still was not completely sure about the safety or history of the plant that saved my life. Where did I start? I was fortunate to stumble across a free copy of Jack Herer’s Book “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” available online.  You can read as well following this link.
Jack Herer inspired me because of the similar background I saw between us. Jack and I are both veterans, former Republicans and had been anti-cannabis at one point in our lives. His opinion of cannabis changed like mine has—after we tried it. He had been “always furiously curious and an avid reader…” Something else I could relate too.  We had both came from the opposite perspective on cannabis and it had given us a unique look at why, others don’t like cannabis; the biggest hurdle is ignorance and this is something Jack Herer believed could be overcome with a little education. It also takes a strong person to say, ‘I was wrong in my beliefs and I am willing to admit it,’ but this is something both of us had to do. It is deeply humbling to find out things you had once adamantly believed where incorrect.  The article Hero of Hemp said, “That new converts make the most vigorous zealots, and that was certainly true of Herer. He longed for others to experience his epiphany.” I have certainly found this to be true as well. Once you catch the zeal of spreading awareness it never leaves you, as you know what it is like to be in the dark and with a little education you can turn on the light for some people.

In his book, he covers the history of cannabis from many aspects from cannabis hemp, medical, economic, energy, prohibition and so much more. My eyes had become open to the world of cannabis knowledge and it was because of Jack Herer. Immediately after reading his book I found out that this amazing man who had become my inspiration to be a cannabis activist had passed away. He died on April 15, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon, at age 70 from complications related to his heart attack in 2009. With a local paper article stating, “The Hemperor, Jack Herer has Died,” this was long before I found his book and had ever learned anything positive about cannabis.61FEC9TQTGL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

But who was Jack Herer? He was much more than just one book. Mind you that one book has now had 12 editions and 750,000 copies sold, and that is no small feat. Considering this book was written in two weeks; while Jack Herer was in jail for collecting signatures for California’s ballot initiative in 1981.

Originally published as part of the article, The Hero of Hemp by Paul Rogers gives a deeper look into who, Jack Herer was as a man: “The exclusive interview by, CULTURE spoke to Jack Herer’s widow, Jeannie Herer. They asked her for insight into the husband who believed he could change the world and whose lingering influence continues to do so. Jack Herer “had the biggest heart of anybody that I’ve ever met,” Jeannie recalls, radiating fondness. “He loved people and he loved being out and talking to people and educating people. He saw how you can change a person’s thinking very easily if you educate them. And he was an educator. He was an educator who believed that he—that we—could save the world, if we just knew all the facts about hemp.’”

This man wanted the world to be educated and to help eradicate ignorance. He had a willingness to teach people that is not often found. Changing the world one mind at a time can make a difference for sure. Jack Herer is proof of that.

Jack Here was a man of perseverance and although, “he never saw his vision fully realized, Herer just wouldn’t let his head drop. “Never!” says Jeannie, who married him August, 9th 1999.(Originally reported incorrectly as 2000) “He was a miracle man … he just never stopped talking about [legalization]. And he had a magnetic personality. He wasn’t shy to get out there and spread the word. He set up on the Federal Building lawn [in Los Angeles in 1980] with big giant signs and had people, a hundred people at a time, camping out for a hundred days . . . He had a lot of guts.” If there was any cannabis activist worth mimicking Jack Here is that man. His passion was so great that it is still being felt today.

Photo Credit: Dr. Michael Aldrich

Herer had even ran for office of the President of the United States, twice. Once in 1988 getting 1,949 votes and 1992 almost doubling his votes to 3,875 votes as the Grassroots Party candidate. Sadly, I doubt enough people even knew who he was at the time. If only he had won imagine where we could be. Herer believed that cannabis can save the world. With cannabis being able to be used as food, medicine, industry, and as a sustainable green energy source. He is often quoted saying, “I don’t know if hemp is gonna save the world but I’ll tell you this, it is the only thing that can.” He is absolutely correct. We would not be dependent on oil because anything oil can do—cannabis can do better. We could also replace most the lumber industry and cotton (cotton requires lots of pesticides) industries with cannabis hemp. That would have a huge positive impact on our environment.

So, know the next time you run across the strain Jack Herer, know it was named after this man. He changed the world and helped inspire cannabis activists across the world. He was an absolute legend. For more information on the Jack Herer Cannabis Strain.

fly-agaric-amanita-muscaria-mushrooms-john-shortJack Here had other interests as well besides cannabis. In a brief article “Legendary Energy,” tells of Jack Herer also lent a good deal of his time and passion in researching the amanita muscaria mushrooms.  He credited his recovery from his stroke and heart attack in 2000 to the mushrooms. He had first learned of them in federal prison by reading the book Sacred Mushroom and the cross by John Allergo, “that sparked a flame in him. He spent six months looking up every single word of the ‘Song of Solomon’ (three pages long) in Strong’s Concordance [of the Bible] so he could find the original meanings of the words.” According to Jeannie in the “Legendary Energy,” article, “Jack’s biggest passion was learning/teaching about the role of amanita muscaria mushrooms and other drugs in religion.” I’ve only just now starting reading the benefits of some mushrooms over this last year overcoming my long misunderstanding of them. I’m still not well versed on the subject myself and we have yet still a lot to learn about what the medicines of nature can teach us. Little by little knowledge will set us free. To read more about what Jack Herer was working on with mushrooms and religion go to his link

This just barely scratches the surface of who Jack Herer was.

This has been my first article on “Cannabis Activist You Should Know.” If you have a suggestion of other cannabis activist that should be highlighted or if you are a cannabis activist, please leave a comment below.

And as always,

“Spread Cannabis Knowledge!”


2 thoughts on “Cannabis Activist You Should Know: Jack Herer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s