If you have spent any time around fellow cannabis enthusiasts, you will likely already know all about Jack Herer – a legend of the cannabis industry, he dedicated a huge portion of his life to the fight for cannabis decriminalization.
But who was the man behind the legend? In this article, we are going to take a look into the history of the pioneer who changed the future for cannabis across America, and find out exactly why he is so well known to this day.
Jack Herer: The Man
Herer was born in June 1939 in Buffalo, New York. Having grown up with a Republican background, he started off life with a very different set of beliefs to those he eventually adopted later down the line. During his younger years he even spent time serving as a military policeman during the Korean War. However, things changed drastically after the war was over and his military career had ended.
In 1967, Herer moved to LA and it was around this time that he first discovered marijuana. Amazingly enough, Jack was 30 years of age before he ever even came across the plant – which goes to show just how much he achieved during the latter part of his life!
A firm believer in the power of cannabis right from the get-go, Herer changed his whole life view almost instantly. It was from here on that legalizing and spreading the good word about cannabis would become his life’s mission.
After first discovering marijuana, Herer had felt compelled to encourage others to better understand the plant’s abilities. To educate himself and others, for example, he immersed himself into research and studied the herb, using his findings as a basis for his future book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, which would go on to be an incredibly important piece of text for the future of the industry.
Herer spent ten years working on his publicized works, which is now in its 12th edition and has been consistently in-print for 31 years. To this day, the book is often cited in discussions for the legalization of cannabis in states where laws are still strict. Along with The Emperor Wears No Clothes, Jack did a lot of work within the community to create campaigns and movements in an effort to end the cannabis prohibition.
He was the founder and director of H.E.M.P, for example, which was an organization established to help end marijuana prohibition. He did many talks about the benefits of cannabis, and why he believed it could save the world if only it were given a chance.
Alongside all of this, Herer co-authored Zine G.R.A.S.S (Great Revolutionary American Standard System), which enabled the quality of marijuana to be accurately measured on a scale of 1 to 10.
Herer was also the first to open a hemp store and head shop in California, which led to him owning a family-run shop in Oregon known as “The Third Eye.” It is often believed that Herer’s opening of these establishments paved the way for the future of medical cannabis across America.
Jack Herer spent 40 years traveling America to spread his messages and knowledge about marijuana – his believe that the herb could be used as a sustainable fuel, food, and even that it could be grown almost anywhere in America made him one of the most influential marijuana activists there has ever been.
Sadly, following complications around a heart attack that he had suffered in the previous year, Jack Herer passed away in 2010 at the age of 70. His legacy has remained strong, however, and there are regular celebrations both of his life and also of his work and impact on the cannabis industry.
Each year in Las Vegas they hold the Jack Herer Cup in celebration of the man who fought so hard for the plant that we all know and love. Not only this, but in honor of the “Emperor of Hemp” the Dutch marijuana seed bank Sensi Seeds created an award-winning Sativa dominant strain, aptly titled Jack Herer. It is a delightful mixture of Haze and Northern Lights, and it’s a cerebral smoke with a blissful and creative high.
While the legality debate continues to rage across many U.S. states, there has been an amazing change in opinion over recent years, and we have a lot to thank Jack Herer for in that respect. From bringing us the knowledge and know-how, to even have one of the bestselling cannabis strains designed with him in mind, he will forever remain the Emperor of Hemp.