Electric Emperor in Alaska

Before his stroke, Jack Herer was working on a ballot initiative in the state of Alaska that, if it passes, will completely legalize hemp and marijuana for all uses (food, cloth, building materials, fuel, medicine, recreational, etc.) and order the immediate release of all individuals currently in state prison or jail for marijuana offenses.
As you may or may not know, Michael M, Stephen Saunders, and I have been working for the last five years on the “Electric Emperor”, the CD-ROM version of Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”.

A few months back, Dave Myers, president of the Orange County Hemp Council (OCHC), suggested that might be able to get a grant to press copies of the CD-ROM for free distribution for educational purposes. The OCHC is a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (meaning that the IRS recognizes donations to the OCHC as a tax deductible charitable donations), with the legal purpose “To educate the public to the benefits of cannabis hemp.”

The OCHC is required by law “to educate the public about the benefits of cannabis hemp” — or it loses its non-profit status.

The plan was to use the grant money to press and distribute 1,000 copies of the CD-ROM, mostly to public libraries (where the public could learn about the uses of hemp), especially to libraries in Alaska. The OCHC can’t participate in political activities, but if the educational CD-ROM is in Alaska libraries in time, local supporters of the Alaska hemp initiative could then refer any interested voters to their local libraries to do their own research on the uses of hemp.

Jack Herer gave his permission for this special free distribution of the CD-ROM.

If the CD-ROM is to be in Alaska libraries in time, the master needs to go to press in the next week or two (no later than mid-August 2000). Unfortunately, there is no longer enough time for the grant process. Hence this message, begging for individual contributions.

Within the next week or two, the OCHC needs approximately $3,000 in donations for this specific project. That covers the cost of pressing (which must be paid in advance) and other expenses (mastering, final artwork, post-production, etc.).

The OCHC has enough volunteer membership to provide the labor for much of the distribution effort, but there is also a need for additional donations of a little more than $3,200 for hard costs that can’t be avoided. That money is needed by mid-September.

A substantial portion of the CD-ROMs will be distributed to libraries and other locations in Alaska. Another substantial portion of the CD-ROMs will be distributed to large libraries in cities throughout the United States. The entire distribution list has not been finalized. Dave Myers still needs to meet with Jack Herer to finalize the distribution list, so I can’t give you exact details, but I can emphasize the importance of moving forward while there is still time to act in Alaska.

Jack Herer believes that Alaska is vitally important because the state is small enough and the voter population concentrated enough to make it possible for a low cost grass roots effort to reach a majority of the voters. Once one state has completely re-legalized hemp and marijuana, it is much easier for other states to follow, just as several states legalized medical marijuana after California and Arizona.

The Electric Emperor CD-ROM is particularly well suited for library research. In addition to having the text of Jack Herer’s “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” in electronic form, ready for use with library research tools, the CD-ROM also has numerous donated materials, including examples of hemp products from some several commercial hemp companies, historical photographs and other materials from Boston Hemp, legal and political information from the Marijuana Policy Project, international material from the Finnish Cannabis Association, and more. It also includes some hemp related music from the Empilation audio CD. And it includes several videos, including an award winning video on medical marijuana and California’s Proposition 215, a medical marijuana Public Service Announcement featuring Jack Herer and George Clayton Johnson, and the entire 1942 USDA film “Hemp for Victory”.

The Electric Emperor CD-ROM is cross-platform. It includes both a fully interactive multi-media program for the Macintosh (the computer most used in libraries and education) and a complete presentation using XML, CSS, JavaScript, HTML, QuickTime, MP3, ShockWave, GIF, and JPEG that is viewable and searchable on *any* computer with a web browser and a CD-ROM or DVD drive (including Windows, Macintosh, Linux, BeOS, OS/2, Amiga, and any of the UNIX systems). This means that the CD-ROM will work with any computer the libraries have, even old out-dated computers (unfortunately, many libraries don’t have the latest, fanciest equipment).

Time is running short. We need to pull together and act now.

Please send your tax deductible donations (clearly marked as being for this specific project) to: Orange County Hemp Council, PO Box 7303, Huntington Beach, California, 92615-7303. Make sure you specifically indicate on your check or money order that your donation is for the CD-ROM.

In order to move forward, we need almost $3,000 in the next week or two for mastering, post-production, and pressing. An additional $3,000 is needed within the next month for distribution.

If you can donate some money, the time is now. We can start getting people out of jail and end prohibition, but we need to act now.

Also, if you could help spread the word, please let your friends know about this need. If you have a web page, please make mention of this need (copy this message or link to ElectricEmperor.com/cdrom.html).


–Milo (programmer for the Electric Emperor).