Jack Herer Strives To Recover While The Fight For Hemp Goes On

(SALEM, Ore.) – Jack Herer is a very resilient fellow. 40 years ago he was a Goldwater Republican. Nine years ago he suffered a minor heart attack, and a major stroke.

All these calamaties and more, he survived.

But his fight continues. For the last four weeks, Jack has been in a Portland Oregon hospital, slowly recovering from a heart attack. On Monday, he was discharged from Legacy Emanuel Hospital, and his family moved him to a nursing facility in Eugene, according to Oregonlive.com.

Exactly one month ago, Jack was stricken by a heart attack. So, each day, the challenge is no less than the day before. The challenge to bring Jack back.

He was in a medically induced coma for several days, on the critical list in ICU for nearly three weeks. Over time, he showed some improvements. His EEG (brain scan) showed more activity, and he would open his eyes. He stretched his arms and legs, yawned, turned his head from side to side. They removed the respirator.

Last week he was taken off the Critical list, moved out of ICU, and remains in stable condition. Stable enough, it seems, to be moved to another facility.

Still though, there has been no word from Jack. “He is waking up and gazing appropriately when someone’s talking,” Paul Stanford (THCF) said, “but he’s not really communicating in any way.”

We’ve been told that Jack responds to touch, has squeezed the hands of close friends and family, and that he even sat up in bed one day when his daughter came into the room. None of this means he’s okay. It just means he’s still with us, and working on recovery.

Jack is a devoted man. He has devoted his life to the cause to decriminalize hemp and cannabis. He stands strong on the belief that the cannabis sativa (hemp/marijuana) plant should be decriminalized, having been proven to be a renewable source of fuel, food and medicine, and he’s been telling the story without fail, for over 30 years.

He also contends that the U.S. government deliberately hides the proof of hemp’s benefits. He tried to take his message all the way to the top, twice running for President of the United States (1988 and 1992) as the Grassroots Party candidate.

Born on June 18, 1939, in NY, NY, Jack is well known as one of the first American Cannabis activists. His book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, has been a catalyst in the advocacy to decriminalize cannabis since the first edition was published in 1985.

Over 600,000 books have been sold, and an online version is available on his site, for easy access to a treasure trove of educational research. By selling his books, tapes, CDs and movies, Jack has helped support the hemp movement for the last 20+ years.

Many know Jack Herer’s name for something even more notorious, a specific strain of cannabis named after him with sativa dominant characteristics. This is a genre he understands, and has contributed to greatly.

Jack won the seventh High Times Cannabis Cup, the “Academy Awards of Marijuana”, the festival held annually in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, probably the most famous cannabis event among tourists, consumers and cannabis-oriented businesses worldwide.

Yes, Jack’s made quite a name for himself.

Jack Herer was the first to “put your money where your mouth is”. He offered a reward of $100,000 to anyone that could prove marijuana had killed a user. For over a dozen years, no one has tried to collect.

“It is the safest, smartest, best medicine on the planet,” Jack said at HempStalk. “You’d have to be stupid not to use it!”

In his book, Jack reiterates it’s low risk use, “A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.” This is true, yet the public is still under another impression.

It didn’t start out that way though.

Every one has heard that America’s founding fathers grew hemp. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, just to get started. But most people don’t know why things changed, or when. Jack found this to be very terribly important, as should every social studies class in the nation. Worthy of note, just to connect some dots, are the towns of HEMPstead, Long Island; HEMPstead County, Arkansas; HEMPstead, Texas; HEMPhill, North Carolina, HEMPfield, Pennsylvania, all named for hemp.

Heard of canvas? That would be cloth made from, you guessed it: cannabis. Levi Strauss thought it was pretty good stuff. So did the pioneers that covered their wagons with it.

Here is some hemp trivia, provided by Jack Herer:

Until about 1800, hempseed oil was the most consumed lighting oil in America and the world.

Until the 1870s, it was the second-most consumed lighting oil, exceeded only by whale oil. It was then replaced by petroleum, kerosene, etc., after the 1859 Pennsylvania oil discovery and John D. Rockefeller’s 1870-on national petroleum stewardship.

In 1850 there were 8,327 hemp plantations (minimum 2,000-acre farms) growing cannabis hemp for cloth, canvas and even the cordage used for baling cotton.

In 1865, there were no slaves to harvest hemp, and no machinery to do the job. Most of the plantations were located in the South or in the border states, and the lack of labor defused the hemp industry in the United States, and from that point, most of our hemp came from outside the country.

By 1916, the USDA forecast that a decorticating and harvesting machine would be developed, and hemp would again be America’s largest agricultural industry.

As predicted, in 1916, 50-year-old George Schlichten created a simple yet brilliant invention. He spent 18 years and $400,000 on the decorticator, a machine that could strip the fiber from nearly any plant, leaving the pulp behind. WWI took a toll on the economy though, and the decorticator was shelved.

It resurfaced in the 1930’s, when it was touted as the machine that would make hemp a “Billion Dollar Crop”. Once again, the burgeoning hemp industry was halted, this time by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937.

In 1935 alone, 116 million pounds (58,000 tons) of hempseed were used in America just for paint and varnish. The hemp drying oil business went principally to DuPont petro-chemicals.

Until 1937, 70-90% of all rope, twine, and cordage was made from hemp. It was then replaced mostly by petrochemical fibers (owned principally by DuPont) and by Manila (Abaca) Hemp.

In 1938, Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering introduced a new generation of investors to fully operational hemp decorticating devices. Because of this machine, both publications said that hemp would soon be America’s number-one crop. The agriculture industry was the last to know, that hemp was about to be criminalized.

In 1942, after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines cut off the supply of Manila hemp, the U.S. government distributed 400,000 pounds of cannabis seeds to American farmers who produced 42,000 tons of hemp fiber annually until 1946 when the war ended.

And then, prohibition against marijuana, a term few Americans had ever heard for hemp/cannabis, was put into practice.

These simple facts are but a side bar for the encyclopedia of information Jack and his team have produced over the years.

In Portland, September 12th, 2009, Jack Herer walked on stage and did what he does best. He fervently, directly and without mincing any words, told the crowd just how he feels about who he believes to be the real criminals- those that have upheld prohibition, benefited from it, violated the rights of Americans- and those that would tax cannabis.

Jack’s got an opinion, and people can’t help but listen. He is regarded as the most well known hemp activist in the world, and any one that’s spoken with him has felt his sincerity.

The people that work and travel with Jack watched him on stage. They said he was impassioned, but no more “worked up” than he’d been two weeks earlier in Seattle at Hempfest. “And it was hotter in Seattle, too,” one friend noted.

After telling several people, including myself, throughout the day just how good he was feeling, even walking without assistance (his stroke damaged his right side), his sudden collapse after leaving the stage that day was a shock.

He was immediately attended to by his friends and collegues, who were sitting near him after he left the stage area, when he slumped over in his chair and it was clear he had fallen ill. There was no ambulance on the grounds, and it took 20-25 minutes for one to make it’s way to Kelley Point Park, and through to the back stage area. Jack had been receiving CPR until their arrival, and was taken by lifeflight to Emanuel Hospital.

Family and friends have not left his side. Supporters, fans and well-wishers from around the globe have shared their positive vibes, prayers and even personal stories in order to give strength to the power of Jack.

After his stroke in 2000, Jack made a remarkable recovery. Supporters say they’ve seen it before, and they want to see it again.

A firm believer in Rick Simpson’s Hemp Oil, Jack was bound for Europe next month to go on tour with Rick, speaking to large groups about the medicinal values of Hemp Oil. Jack planned to share his own success story, but Jack’s right-hand man, Chuck Jacobs, will be there in his stead. Jack would not want the momentum to slow, just because he’s taking some time off. He’s got a lot of irons in the fire and they aren’t likely to cool down any time soon. The Emperor would not be pleased.

Jack Herer has said, “It’s time we put capitalism to the test and let the unrestricted market of supply and demand, as well as “Green” ecological consciousness, decide the future of the planet.” And thus, his legislative iniative was born.

Recently filed in Sacramento, California, The Jack Herer Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative spells out what Jack has been preaching for all these years.

One quote from the Initiative says, “No permit, license, or tax shall be required for the non-commercial cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp.” He hasn’t faltered; he insists on decriminalization without taxation.

And now it will be up to the people, to decide whether or not the government should cross the line into taxation of hemp/cannabis. Or, perhaps that’s not the question, perhaps the question is, do you trust the government? One thing’s for sure, Jack says No.

As if written specifically to support Jack’s position, some final words from Abraham Lincoln: “Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” (December, 1840)

Good luck Jack. Get well soon.


Below is the verbiage of the Jack Herer Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative:
The Jack Herer Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative

I. Add Section 11362.6 to the Health and Safety Code of California, any laws or policies to the contrary notwithstanding:

1. No person, individual, or corporate entity shall be arrested or prosecuted, be denied any right or privilege, nor be subject to any criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp marijuana, including: (a) Cannabis hemp industrial products. (b) Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations. (c) Cannabis hemp nutritional products. (d) Cannabis hemp religious and spiritual products. (e) Cannabis hemp recreational and euphoric use and products.

2. Definition of terms: (a) The terms “cannabis hemp” and “cannabis hemp marijuana” mean the natural, non-genetically modified plant hemp, cannabis, marihuana, marijuana, cannabis sativa L, cannabis Americana, cannabis chinensis, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, cannabis sativa, or any variety of cannabis, including any derivative, concentrate, extract, flower, leaf, particle, preparation, resin, root, salt, seed, stalk, stem, or any product thereof.

(b) The term “cannabis hemp industrial products” means all products made from cannabis hemp that are not designed or intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to: clothing, building materials, paper, fiber, fuel, lubricants, plastics, paint, seed for cultivation, animal feed, veterinary medicine, oil, or any other product that is not designed for internal human consumption; as well as cannabis hemp plants used for crop rotation, erosion control, pest control, weed control, or any other horticultural or environmental purposes, for example, the reversal of the Greenhouse Effect and toxic soil reclamation.

(c) The term “cannabis hemp medicinal preparations” means all products made from cannabis hemp that are designed, intended, or used for human consumption for the treatment of any human disease or condition, for pain relief, or for any healing purpose, including but not limited to the treatment or relief of: Alzheimer’s and pre-Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, cramps, epilepsy, glaucoma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, side effects of cancer chemotherapy, fibromyalgia, sickle cell anemia, spasticity, spinal injury, stress, easement of post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette syndrome, attention deficit disorder, immunodeficiency, wasting syndrome from AIDS or anorexia; use as an antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-viral, or anti-emetic; as a healing agent, or as an adjunct to any medical or herbal treatment. Mental conditions not limited to bipolar, depression, attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shall be conditions considered for medical use.

(d) The term “cannabis hemp nutritional products” means cannabis hemp for consumption by humans and animals as food, including but not limited to: seed, seed protein, seed oil, essential fatty acids, seed cake, dietary fiber, or any preparation or extract thereof.

(e) The term “cannabis hemp euphoric products” means cannabis hemp intended for personal recreational or religious use, other than cannabis hemp industrial products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, or cannabis hemp nutritional products.

(f) The term “personal use” means the internal consumption of cannabis hemp by people 21 years of age or older for any relaxational, meditative, religious, spiritual, recreational, or other purpose other than sale.

(g) The term “commercial production” means the production of cannabis hemp products for sale or profit under the conditions of these provisions.

3. Industrial cannabis hemp farmers, manufacturers, processors, and distributors shall not be subject to any special zoning requirement, licensing fee, or tax that is excessive, discriminatory, or prohibitive.

4. Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations are hereby restored to the list of available medicines in California. Licensed physicians shall not be penalized for, nor restricted from, prescribing or recommending cannabis hemp for medical purposes to any patient, regardless of age. No tax shall be applied to prescribed cannabis hemp medicinal preparations. Medical research shall be encouraged. No recommending physician shall be subject to any professional licensing review or hearing as a result of recommending or approving medical use of cannabis hemp marijuana.

5. Personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products. (a) No permit, license, or tax shall be required for the non-commercial cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp. (b) Testing for inactive and/or inert residual cannabis metabolites shall not be required for employment or insurance, nor be considered in determining employment, other impairment, or intoxication. (c) When a person falls within the conditions of these exceptions, the offense laws do not apply and only the exception laws apply.

6. Use of cannabis hemp products for religious or spiritual purposes shall be considered an inalienable right; and shall be protected by the full force of the State and Federal Constitutions.

7. Commerce in cannabis hemp euphoric products shall be limited to adults, 21 years of age and older, and shall be regulated in a manner analogous to California’s wine industry model. For the purpose of distinguishing personal from commercial production, 99 flowering female plants and 12 pounds of dried, cured cannabis hemp flowers, bud, not leaf, produced per adult, 21 years of age and older, per year shall be considered as being for personal use.

8. The manufacture, marketing, distribution, or sales between adults of equipment or accessories designed to assist in the planting, cultivation, harvesting, curing, processing, packaging, storage, analysis, consumption, or transportation of cannabis hemp plants, industrial cannabis hemp products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, cannabis hemp nutritional products, cannabis hemp euphoric products, or any cannabis hemp product shall not be prohibited.

9. No California law enforcement personnel or funds shall be used to assist or aid and abet in the enforcement of Federal cannabis hemp marijuana laws involving acts which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California.

10. Any person who threatens the enjoyment of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor. The maximum penalties and fines of a misdemeanor may be imposed.

II. Repeal, delete, and expunge any and all existing statutory laws that conflict with the provisions of this initiative.

1. Enactment of this initiative shall include: amnesty, immediate release from prison, jail, parole, and probation, and clearing, expungement, and deletion of all criminal records for all persons currently charged with, or convicted of any non-violent cannabis hemp marijuana offenses included in this initiative which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. People who fall within this category that triggered an original sentence are included within this provision.

2. Within 60 days of the passage of this Act, the Attorney General shall develop and distribute a one-page application, providing for the destruction of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records in California for any such offense covered by this Act. Such forms shall be distributed to district and city attorneys and made available at all police departments in the State to persons hereby affected. Upon filing such form with any Superior Court and a payment of a fee of $10.00, the Court shall liberally construe these provisions to benefit the defendant in furtherance of the amnesty and dismissal provision of this section. Upon the Court’s ruling under this provision the arrest record shall be set aside and be destroyed. Such persons may then truthfully state that they have never been arrested or convicted of any cannabis hemp marijuana related offense which is hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. This shall be deemed to be a finding of factual innocence under California Penal Code Section 851.8 et seq.

III. The legislature is authorized upon thorough investigation, to enact legislation using reasonable standards to:

1. License concessionary establishments to distribute cannabis hemp euphoric products in a manner analogous to California’s wine industry model. Sufficient community outlets shall be licensed to provide reasonable commercial access to persons of legal age, so as to discourage and prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, such products. Any license or permit fee required by the State for commercial production, distribution or use shall not exceed $1,000.00.

2. Place an excise tax on commercial sale of cannabis hemp euphoric products, analogous to California’s wine industry model, so long as no excise tax or combination of excise taxes shall exceed $10.00 per ounce.

3. Determine an acceptable and uniform standard of impairment based on performance testing, to restrict persons impaired by cannabis hemp euphoric products from operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery, or otherwise engaging in conduct that may affect public safety.

4. Regulate the personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products in enclosed and/or restricted public places.

IV. Pursuant to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the people of California hereby repudiate and challenge Federal cannabis hemp marijuana prohibitions that conflict with this Act.

V. Severability: If any provision of this Act, or the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid by any court, the remainder of this Act, to the extent it can be given effect, or the application of such provisions to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.

VI. Construction: If any rival or conflicting initiative regulating any matter addressed by this act receives the higher affirmative vote, then all non-conflicting parts shall become operative.

VII. Purpose of Act: This Act is an exercise of the police powers of the State for the protection of the safety, welfare, health, and peace of the people and the environment of the State, to protect the industrial and medicinal uses of cannabis hemp, to eliminate the unlicensed and unlawful cultivation, selling, and dispensing of cannabis hemp; and to encourage temperance in the consumption of cannabis hemp euphoric products. It is hereby declared that the subject matter of this Act involves, in the highest degree, the ecological, economic, social, and moral well-being and safety of the State and of all its people. All provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes: to respect human rights, to promote tolerance, and to end cannabis hemp prohibition.


Do you want to help Jack and his family? Jeannie Herer has set up a fund at US Bank, the Jack Herer Fund. Please make a donation in person or by mail at any US Bank to the Jack Herer Fund.

– Article from Salem-News.com.



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  2. Mad at you saying That Jack Blew himself up on

    There was No ambulance. Norml put this show on and the City of Portland refused to have ambulance on sight, and Jack was WITHOUT OXYOGEN FOR 20-25 MINUTES BEFORE AN AMBULANCE ARRIVED !! I am shocked anyone would say that about Jack. And very sad as well. Grow up, and please reframe yourself from saying something so rude, not knowing THE FACTS. I hope an apology comes on this page, from you!

  3. Hero Worshipper on

    You may lower your salute now.

  4. That's HUUUHHIYEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! on

    Stop smoking near the oxygen!

  5. Joe on

    I hope you have a speedy recovery Mr. Herer. Your research and dedication to the hemp and cannabis movement have done amazing things and inspired me to help in this fight against these remarkably crazy and hypocritical laws. The first step has been laid already by you giving us truthful information, now is the part to unwind decades of failed policy.