Jack Herer

hemperor by mike tucker

Jack Herer (1939 –  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, 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. A specific strain of cannabis has been named after Herer that has won several awards, including the 7th High Times Cannabis Cup. He ran for US President twice, in 1988 (1,949 votes) and 1992 (3,875 votes) as the Grassroots Party candidate. In July 2000, he suffered a minor heart attack and a major stroke, resulting in difficulties speaking and moving the right side of his body. He mostly recovered, and claimed in 2004 that treatment with amanita muscaria, a psychoactive mushroom had cured him. He died six years later, aged 70.

European experts on hemp, like Dr. Hayo Van der Werf and Dr. Ivan Bûcsa, 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. Herer also 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 %. 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.

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