If you’ve enjoyed legalized cannabis or the benefits of hemp in any capacity, you owe a big thank you to Jack Herer.
Although he passed away in 2010, he’s still one of the most common names in cannabis culture—he even has a strain named after him. His tireless advocacy efforts put cannabis back on the map as a medicine and industrial powerhouse in the 1970s, when the government—and a lot of everyday people—weren’t too keen on discussing the plant’s potential. But he didn’t care. Their disdain only fueled his fire.
Herer didn’t start out pro-pot though. He was born into a conservative family, served as a military policeman in the Korean war, and even threatened to leave his first wife after finding out she smoked cannabis. Then in 1967, after divorcing her and moving to Los Angeles, he actually tried cannabis for the first time, and it immediately opened his eyes and ideas to the therapeutic capabilities of the plant. From then on, he worked every day to educate others about the plant and convert as many anti-cannabis folks as he could. He’s a great example for all of us—don’t be afraid of what you don’t know, be curious!
His cannabis advocacy spans decades. He wrote books on the power of the plant. Most notably, The Emporer Wears No Clothes, which explains in detail the uses of the hemp plant and the government-stoked war behind it. He was arrested for collecting signatures for a cannabis ballot initiative in California. He ran for president—twice—simply to increase his audience reach. In the ‘80s, you could find him at his information booth on Venice Beach, raising awareness and educating skeptics. He hosted and spoke at cannabis events across the country. He truly dedicated his life to the cause, and we would not be where we are today without his efforts. So, in honor of The Hemperor, join us in lighting one up and celebrating his birthday this month!
Contrary to popular belief, Herer did not invent the strain that boasts his name. The strain Jack Herer was actually invented in the Netherlands in the ‘90s, where growers worked to create a potent, creativity-inducing strain in honor of Herer’s potent and creative contributions to the fight for legal cannabis. They bred such a powerful plant, Dutch pharmacies later began selling it as a recognized medical-grade strain.
One of our favorites, the strain has a deliciously citrusy aroma and flavor thanks to its myrcene and terpinolene terpenes. It’s a combo of a Haze hybrid with a Northern Lights #5 and Shiva Skunk cross, creating a 55% Sativa that offers a blissful, clear-headed, and creative high—three words that perfectly encapsulate the man himself.
We all owe Herer a debt of gratitude for his commitment to legalizing cannabis and educating the masses. And though we can’t thank him in person today, we can honor him by enjoying some Jack Herer and educating at least one person on the joys and benefits of cannabis. So grab your preferred way to consume, take a moment to thank the man for his work, and get out there and spread the word!
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