Jack Herer is the biggest hero I've ever had in the marijuana movement and in marijuana culture. If there is a 'George Washington of marijuana,' it would be Jack Herer. Jack Herer has a marijuana strain named after him, marijuana reform initiatives are named after him, and his work is still being celebrated and carried out to this day. For those of you that don't know about Jack Herer, here is a brief bio from JackHerer.Com, which is ran by the amazing Jeannie Herer:
Jack Herer was never an elected law-maker who could formally shape policy. Nor was he some billionaire who could buy influence. Yet his rare combination of brilliant intellect, endless curiosity, scholarly diligence and passionate people skills made him a force of nature whose impact is perhaps only just beginning to be truly felt.
All but complete Johnny-come-latelies to cannabis culture probably have some awareness of Jack "The Hemperor" Herer as perhaps the most influential figure in the modern legalization movement. Herer, who passed away in April, wrote 1985's The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the book that ignited the campaign and remains its manifesto and devoted nearly four decades to tireless, charismatic activism. The man almost literally died trying to have hemp and marijuana legalized in America. Were it not for Herer's work, we might not be enjoying decrim here in California (and elsewhere) or have seen nearly half the state's voters give the nod to full legalization last month.
Up until the point of his death, no one had done as much for the marijuana movement as Jack Herer, and I doubt anyone ever will match his accomplishments and admiration among reformers. It is because of this that I declare April 20th 'Jack Herer Day' going forward. I think Jack is somewhere looking down on us, and is absolutely elated to see how far we have come. They are celebrating legally in Washington and Colorado right now, and although Jack's not in either place in person, I guarantee he is there in spirit. R.I.P. Mr. Herer, and thank you for all you did!