Published: Jun 17, 2017, 6:00 am • Updated: Jun 17, 2017, 9:55 am
Who was Jack Herer? One of the most celebrated figures in the history of marijuana legalization was not a simple man.
Herer, who died in 2010, would have celebrated his 78th birthday tomorrow. Even before his passing, he became a larger-than-life figure whose had a popular strain of cannabis and a prestigious cannabis cultivator/product competition named in his honor.
A former military policeman who didn’t smoke marijuana until he was 30, then a relentless rabble-rouser for cannabis. A Buffalo, New York, native and a West Coast counterculture icon. Married four times and father of six. Author and fearless champion of marijuana legalization. The Hemperor, the Godfather of the Hemp Revolution, the Johnny Appleseed of Weed.
Jack Herer was all that and more.
“The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” by Jack Herer.
His landmark non-fiction work, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” was ground-breaking when it was first published in 1985. The product of years of research, Jack began laying out the book in early 1981 during a brief prison stay for registering voters on federal property after dark. (He was camped out in front of the federal building in L.A., where he and other demonstrators were protesting marijuana laws.) It has provided ammunition for generations of pot advocates and enthusiasts, outlining the history of cannabis, showing its many uses and explaining how it ended up as an illegal substance in the United States.
Keith Stroup, the public-interest attorney who founded the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) nearly 50 years ago, first met Herer at cannabis legalization protests and events in the mid-70s. He vividly recalled Herer’s no-concession approach to legalization.
“Occasionally he would come across as a