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Sol Flower Education
Happy Birthday to The Hemperor: Who Was Jack Herer?
June 18, 2020
While 4/20 is the most recognized unofficial global cannabis holiday, we at Sol Flower are partial to 6/18. That’s because on this dank day in 1939, the legendary marijuana legalization and decriminalization advocate Jack Herer was born. ‘Jack Herer!?’ you might say. ‘Isn’t that like one of the most primo strains on the market?’ And to that we say, it’s only fitting that one of medical cannabis’ most beloved strains is named after the man they called The Hemperor.
Jack’s story is fascinating. As a young adult he was far from the progressive thinker he would later become - it’s rumored he divorced his first wife in part because he learned she smoked cannabis - but that all began to change when he moved from New York to Los Angeles at the height of the late-60’s free love movement.
Herer became a marijuana entrepreneur, opening up the world’s first hemp store on Venice Beach and writing a number of popular cannabis-themed comics. By 1973, Jack had fully dedicated his energy to his lifelong mission of legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis. Believing the hemp plant to be a nearly unlimited, sustainable source of medicine with benefits stretching from a reduced dependence on fossil fuels to a replacement material for paper harvested from rainforest trees, Herer went to work saving the world one flower at a time.
It was during one brush with the law that Jack Herer made his greatest contribution to the movement. While serving a two-week sentence for refusing to pay a $5 fine, Jack began writing The Emperor Wears No Clothes, his treatise on the scientific and cultural benefits of hemp. The book was published in 1985 (on hemp paper, of course), and momentum for Jack’s mission grew to a fever pitch.
What made Jack so unique was not that he rebelled against the system, but that he attempted to be a part of it to enact change from the inside. His two unsuccessful presidential runs showed just how committed he was to the cause, and he was an impassioned believer that any politician who didn’t support the hemp movement should be voted out of office.
Within Jack’s lifetime, the cultural mindset around cannabis shifted nearly 180 degrees. Arizona is one of many states whose growing marijuana industry would not be possible without Jack’s commitment and passion. We’re proud to sell Jack Herer’s namesake strand at Sol Flower. This June 18th, light one up in honor of the man who helped make it possible for you to do so in peace.