Jack Herer, 1939-2010

Jack Herer, the iconic advocate of cannabis legalization, self-described “Emperor of Hemp,” and author of the manifesto, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, died in Eugene, Oregon at the age of 70.

Herer, the driving force behind a competing marijuana legalization initiative aiming for the November California ballot, had suffered heart attacks and strokes in recent years. A major stroke in 2000 left him with difficulty speaking and partial paralysis on his right side. He made a significant recovery and credited his resilience, in part, to psychoactive mushrooms. Most recently, he was hospitalized for a debilitating heart attack that struck him while attending the September, 2009, Hempstalk Festival in Portland, Oregon.

In his book, Herer borrowed from Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Emperor’s New Clothes to explain his belief that government has conspired to mislead the public about the dangers of cannabis, partially to protect investments in the “pharmaceutical, energy and paper industries; and to give these poisonous, synthetic industries and inside advantage over natural hemp.” Herer believed that modern agricultural technology could, potentially, make hemp the “single biggest agricultural crop in the world today,” making it a major threat to industrial interests. Throughout his life, he touted it as a renewable resource that could be beneficial in the areas of medicine, energy and food.

Herer’s activities as an activist brought him to the field of politics as a Presidential candidate in 1988 and 1992, fronting the Grass Roots Party. He was also recognized by High Times Magazine with induction into the Counterculture Hall of Fame in 2003.

Because he opposed the taxation and quantity limitations on the legislation, Herer had urged Californians to vote against the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 that will appear on the state’s November ballot. The Jack Herer Initiative (or California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative), which he proposed, would eliminate criminal sanctions for marijuana possession and impose strict limits on zoning and license requirements associated with cannabis distribution. The Herer effort did not have the backing of major marijuana-advocacy groups and is considered unlikely to achieve the required signature threshold for voter consideration.

Herer will be remembered as a unique individual and pioneer in the cannabis legalization movement in the United States.

— From The420Times.com staff reports

16 Responses

  1. Wayward Bill Chengelis

    Fare you well Jack. I didn’t know you but you taught me everything!

    Please take a moment of silence from 4:19 to 4:20 on April 20th. If you get up early you can remember Jack Herer twice. Do this wherever you are a 420 Rally, 420 Party, etc., just do it.

  2. Global Hemp

    Jack Herer, “The Hemperor” will be missed.

    I’m sure that Jack is in a better place where industrial hemp and marijuana are perfectly legal.

    All the best to ‘ya Jack!

  3. rodney stoneman

    Rest in peace, Jack… you were a brave pioneer who taught a lot of us the truth about cannabis and also the ridiculous foundations upon which the “War On Drugs” is based.
    Thank you for your efforts, and may God receive you.

  4. Mike Boutin

    Jack, we would be a better Country if we would listen to you, now we appear to be on our own. Do not forget us as you attend to the affairs of your new surroundings. Hemp Hemp Hooray my Brother.

  5. Kron

    The death of Jack Herer has and will continue to have various effects on not only fellow activists, the movement, industry, but friends, family, admirers, fans, and then there are those like myself who as I sit here “torn in tears”, writing this have very much been a part of all the above at some point and in some way so I am least to say, saddened by this but know and hope this inspirers many that this is the time go above and beyond what one man has done for us all during his life. We Love you Jack you will be missed!

    Kron – San Diego – ccpmeds@yahoo.com

  6. cherisse hall

    i must admit i didn’t know any thing about jack herer.as of oct 09,as i went 2 my first dispensary,and picked up alot of reading as i waited and then i noticed he had his own strain ,so i bought it,and it was then that i learned this man was a one man show.he has educated me on things i had no idea about .so since knowledge is power,i will take that info and i will now and have already have told others the benifits of cannibus,and these people r just exsisting in pain and ready 2 snap due 2 deep depression and 2 ladies said that she wasn’t a smoker,so i felt like the cannibus super hero as i had other options 2 offer edibles,as well as drinks,butter,etc medicated chocolate.so they were very interested,and said that they’d give it a try.so i salute u hemp master mr. jack herer,god bless his family an friends at this time.and i’m sure they were an r very proud of his acomplishments.thx jack.as i close i will go and have a toke 2 the master!!!!! like she said hemp hemp hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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