HEADS
DECEMBER 2000
Issue 2

Jack Herer Beats Stroke: Outlook Good
By Paul DeRienzo

Doctors at the VA hospital in Portland, Oregon are using the word "amazing" to describe Jack Herer’s miracle recovery after suffering a stroke at the World Hemp Festival in Eugene on July 15th. Herer, 61, the author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes: The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana and How Hemp Can Save the World!" was rushed to the hospital after he appeared disoriented while speaking at the event in Harrisburg. His wife Jeannie Herer reports that Jack is "doing better every day." She says, "Jack has been getting better at walking with the help of a cane," but re-learning speech is "frustrating." Adding, "Jack’s goal is to reach a point where folks can understand 50 percent of his speech."

Jack Herer is arguably the best known advocate of hemp and medical marijuana in the United States. First published in the mid-80s "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" reawakened public interest in the hidden history of hemp, the non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana that was widely used in the US until the end of World War II. When the book was published ABC 20/20 host Hugh Downs called it "The most talked about underground book of the past decade."

Jack Herer’s journey to become the founder of the modern hemp movement began in the early 70s with California’s decriminalization of marijuana. Herer thanks his friend and mentor Captain Ed, who together with Jack made a vow to never give up the struggle to liberate marijuana until they turned 84, and then "they could still continue the struggle." Although many believed that pot would soon be legal, Herer and Captain Ed didn’t trust politicians to get the job done. They turned out to be right.

In the book "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" Herer presents evidence that cannabis was made illegal as part of a conspiracy to jail poor Mexican immigrants. The book asserts that hemp was banned to allow the DuPont Chemical Corp. to replace the ancient fiber with their newly developed product nylon.

Herer also maintains in his book that hemp is the only natural resource "capable of providing the overall majority of the worlds paper and textiles.. [and] energy needs while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere." He’s been offering a $100,000 reward for years to anyone who Herer says can "prove us wrong."

Speaking about the health benefits of pot Herer once wrote that "In fact, marijuana lowers your stress level and lowers your body temperature. It actually seems that people live longer if they use it. If you substitute marijuana for tobacco and alcohol, you’ll add 24 years to your life." His insight turned out to be prophetic because in 1998 the National Institute of Mental Health reported that a chemical in marijuana might protect the brain from damage inflicted from a stroke. Word has it that Jack is set to test the NIMH findings as soon as possible.

Marijuana fans and activists everywhere fondly wish our friend Jack Herer a speedy and complete recovery. Email letters of support for Jack can be sent to hempjack@earthlink.net.

Herer thanks his friend and mentor Captain Ed, who together with Jack made a vow to never give up the struggle to liberate marijuana until they turned 84, and then "they could still continue the struggle."

contact Paul DeRienzo

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