R.I.P. Jack Herer

Today is the one year anniversary of the death of legendary cannabis activist, Jack Herer. Here’s some information about him so you can get acquainted. Also, he has his own Jack Herer strain that you might be familiar with (we think it’s awesome!). Alright, well here you go, from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Herer).

“Jack Herer (June 18, 1939 – April 15, 2010) was an American cannabis activist and the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a book which has been used in efforts to decriminalize cannabis.

A former Goldwater Republican, Herer was a pro-cannabis (marijuana) and hemp activist. He wrote two books, the aforementioned The Emperor Wears No Clothes and Grass. There has also been a documentary made about his life called, The Emperor of Hemp. He believed that the cannabis plant should be decriminalized because it has been shown to be a renewable source of fuel, food, and medicine that can be grown in virtually any part of the world. He further asserts that the U.S. government deliberately hides the proof of this.

A specific strain of cannabis[1] has been named after Jack Herer in honor of his work. This strain has won several awards, including the 7th High Times Cannabis Cup. Jack Herer was also inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame at the 16th Cannabis Cup in recognition of his first book.[2]

Herer ran for United States President twice, in 1988 (1,949 votes) and 1992 (3,875 votes) as the Grassroots Party candidate.

In July 2000, Herer suffered a minor heart attack and a major stroke, resulting in difficulties speaking and moving the right side of his body.[3] Herer mostly recovered, and claimed in May 2004 that treatment with the amanita muscaria, a psychoactive mushroom was the “secret”.[4]

On September 12, 2009 Herer suffered another heart attack while backstage at the Hempstalk Festival in Portland, Oregon.[5] He spent nearly a month in critical condition in a Portland hospital, including several days in a medically induced coma. He was discharged to another facility on October 13, 2009. Paul Stanford of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation said “He is waking up and gazing appropriately when someone is talking… but he is not really communicating in any way.”[6] He died aged 70 on April 15, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon, from complications related to the September 2009 heart attack.[7][8] Herer was buried at the Eden Memorial Park Cemetery in Mission Hills, California.

Criticism

European experts on hemp, like Dr. Hayo M.G. van der Werf author of the doctoral thesis Crop physiology of fibre hemp (1994) and Dr. Ivan Bûcsa have criticized Herer for making unrealistic claims regarding the potential of hemp, for example:

– Herer claimed that hemp produces higher yields than other crops. Van der Werf argue that is simply wrong. Under most favorable growing conditions, other crops such as maize, sugar beet or potato produced similar dry matter yields. Fiber hemp is in no way exceptional.[9]

– Herer claimed that hemp hurds, which make up 60 to 80 % of the stem dry weight, contain 77 % cellulose. Van der Werf argue that is wrong. Cellulose content of hemp hurds has been found to vary between 32 and 38 % (Bedetti and Ciaralli 1976, van der Werf 1994). Possibly, Herer confused the hurds, which form the woody core of the hemp stem, with the bark, which forms the outer layer of the hemp stem. The bark contains the long bast fibers which are used in textile manufacturing. [9]

– Herer claimed that hemp could be grown on 6 million hectares in the European Union. Dr. Ivan Bûcsa argue that it was a great exaggeration to calculate that since it is not worth transporting unprocessed hemp more than 40-50 km even in bales. [10] The total reported area in the world cultivated with hemp fiber and hemp seed has only been a fraction of Herers claim: 0.3 million hectares in 1965, 0.076 million hectares in 2004.[11]”

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