Jack Herer: Marijuana Activist
August 15th, 2013
Categories : Blog
Jack Herer was one of the most renowned marijuana activists in the United States. Also known as "The Hemperor," Jack Herer spent many years of his life advocating the end of marijuana prohibition. To this day, in honor of his ambitious work, his name lives on in one of the most potent cannabis strains ever grown in the world.
With the so-called "war on drugs" pressing down on Americans across the country, Jack Herer served as hope to many that one day the prohibition of a virtually harmless plant would be lifted. Marijuana charges seem to be getting harsher and harsher in some states, whereas other, more conscientious states are unprecedentedly pushing for the full legalization of the plants recreational use. Although simple possession usually results in a misdemeanor, it can still put a stain on the record of hard-working U.S. citizens.
Moreover, misdemeanors and felonies can carry jail time, which raises the question: should nonviolent, drug related criminals be treated the same as violent, convicted felons? This is where Jack Herer comes in.
Jack Herer began his political career as a former Goldwater Republican who advocated for the decriminalization of cannabis and hemp products. He voiced most of his opinions in two acclaimed books, namely G.R.A.S.S. and The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Additionally, a documentary was made about the activist's life called, The Emperor of Hemp.
Most of Jack Herer's arguments centered on the well-known facts pertaining to the many beneficial applications of cannabis and hemp products. Not only could marijuana be used to treat a number of ailments, including glaucoma, anxiety and cancer related complications, but it was also proven that the cannabis plant could be utilized as a source of food, renewable fuel and paper/lumber. The fact that cannabis can be grown virtually anywhere in the world while providing a number of beneficial services made the idea of prohibition unfathomable to Herer.
At two points in Herer's life, he decided to run for president of the United States as a candidate for the Grassroots Party. In 1988, he ran against George Bush Senior and received 1,949 votes. When he ran again in 1992, he received exactly 3,875 votes. Although he did not have wide support for presidency, he had a huge number of supporters for his cause.
A Brief Biography On The Man Himself
Jack Herer was born in New York City on June 18, 1939. Surprisingly, for the first 28 years of his life, Jack Herer was completely against the decriminalization of marijuana and supported prohibition on all fronts. Once he moved to California in 1967, his beliefs on the subject would never be the same. Supposedly, Jack met a girl when he first moved to California who later convinced him to try smoking cannabis for the first time. After that, there was no looking back for Jack.
After conducting extensive research on everything related to the herb, Jack co-authored his first magazine/comic book hybrid, G.R.A.S.S.. The acronym stands for, "Great Revolutionary American Standard System." The book served as an assessment tool for Americans to discern the quality of cannabis in their possession on a scale from 1 to 10. With the publication of his first book well under way, Jack Herer decided to open the first hemp store the States had seen in ages.
After years of fighting the government for the legalization of marijuana, Jack's health began to catch up to him. Many attributed Jack's heart problems to his constant campaign work and devotion to his cause. In the year 2000, Herer suffered his first major stroke accompanied with a minor heart attack. Subsequently, Herer had issues with his motor skills on the right side of his body, as well as having difficulties speaking.
Sadly, on September 12, 2009, Jack Herer suffered a second heart attack while attending the famous Hempstalk Festival in Portland, Oregon. This was the final blow to Jack Herer's overall condition. Although he was able to live for an additional seven months after the heart attack, Jack finally succumbed to heart complications on April 15, 2010. He was only 70 years old when he died, but he left a legacy that was unheard of in the cannabis culture. Some say, if it were not for Jack Herer's determined efforts, the cannabis industry would still be entirely stigmatized and prohibited in the United States.
Jack Herer Cannabis Marijuana Strain
In light of the great cannabis proponent Jack Herer, the Netherlands cannabis company, Sensi Seed Bank, bred an indica/sativa hybrid strain named after the man himself. The strain was engineered by crossing Haze, Skunk #1 and Northern Lights #5. The Jack Herer strain was first released in 1995 and has had many subset strains derived from it since.
Coincidentally, the Jack Herer cannabis marijuana strain has become the most awarded cannabis variety of all time. Since its creation, it has received eleven High Times Cannabis Cup awards and a number of other accolades. If Jack were still around, he would be proud to have his name on the preeminent strain in the history of cannabis.
The Jack Herer strain has been utilized for many medical purposes as well. Because it is a sativa-dominant strain, it is primarily used to relieve stress, depression, anxiety and nervousness. Others have stated that it can be used to motivate and stimulate concentration, creativity and energy. It is fitting that the strain is used for medical purposes, because Jack understood and promoted the beneficial health implications of the mystical herb right up until his death.