This morning, the sad news reached us that Jack Herer, well known American cannabis activist and author of the books like Grass and The Emperor Wears No Clothes passed away in Eugene, Oregon. He was 70 years of age.
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.
Dutch cannabis seed company Sensi Seeds named one of their most exquisite strains in honour of Jack Herer. The strain won numerous prizes at harvest festivals and bears the distinction of being distributed under prescription by Dutch pharmacies as a recognised variety of medicinal-grade cannabis.
In 2000 Herer suffered a stroke and heart attack. Herer mostly recovered, and claimed in May 2004 that treatment with the amanita muscaria, a psychoactive mushroom was the "secret". Last September 12 Herer collapsed backstage at "Hempstalk 2009"in Portland, Oregon.
His death means a great loss to the global cannabis activist community.
Rest in Peace Jack!