EXPIRED: 04/15/10 – Jack Herer, 70, was known as the Emperor of Hemp. And that he was. Early in his career he wrote G.R.A.S.S.: Great Revolutionary American Standard System, which proposed a 1-10 rating system for pot potency and quality of high.
As a cannabis activist he wrote the books The Emperor Wears No Clothes which have since been widely used in America to decriminalize personal pot use.
A former Goldwater Republican, Herer believed that the cannabis sativa plant should be decriminalized because it was a proven renewable source of fuel, food, and medicine, and can be grown in virtually any part of the world. His most damning decree, though, was that the U.S. government knew and agreed with all of this and deliberately hides the proof of hemp’s usefulness, in collusion with certain chemical and paper financial interests.
To make his case more public, Herer ran for the office of President of the United States in 1988 and received a whopping 1,949 votes. He ran again 4 years later and got 1926 more votes than he did the first time. His party affiliation? The Grassroots Party of course.
The Emperor of Hemp, a documentary film about his life, was released in 1999. The very next year Herer suffered a minor heart attack and a major stroke. He had difficulties speaking and moving the right side of his body. He treated himself with the amanita muscaria, a psychoactive mushroom, and said he was mostly recovered by 2004.
Then, in the autumn of 2009, Herer was giving a speech at the Portland Hempstalk Festival. Minutes after leaving the stage he suffered another, more serious heart attack. He spent a month in critical condition in the hospital, including several days in a medically induced coma. Doctors said, “he would wake and gaze appropriately when someone was talking… but he was not really communicating in any way.”
He never came back. But then again, he never really left.
Somewhere right now, someone is partying with Herer. You see, someone named a potent strain of marijuana after him. The Jack Herer Strain is a cross between Skunk #1, Northern Lights #5 and Haze and – with a flowering time of up to 75 days – it won the High Times Cannabis Cup several years running.
Light up & RIP, Jack!