DVD Review: "Jack Herer is the Emperor of Hemp"

"Jack Herer is the Emperor of Hemp," Memorial Tribute Edition (2010, Double J Films, $19.95)

(Order this and other new membership premiums by donating to StoptheDrugWar.org.)

Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," and arguably "the greatest cannabis crusader of all time," died in April after suffering a heart attack at the Portland Hempstalk Festival eight months earlier. The passing of the movement icon prompted the release of this memorial tribute edition of "Jack Herer is the Emperor of Hemp," which updates the decade-old release with new interview footage with the prophet of hemp and includes the entire 1943 Department of Agriculture film "Hemp for Victory."


But it's not just the new, never before seen interview material that makes this DVD reissue worthwhile, because Jack Herer's story is fascinating in itself and "Jack Herer" does an admirable job of explicating the man, his evolution, and his passions. (Not to mention you'll get to see NORML founder Keith Stroup before his hair turned white!)

Herer's story is a true American journey (and by the way, it's pronounced HAIR-er, not Huh-RARE). Born in 1939, Herer entered the 1960s as a conservative -- an Army veteran and Goldwater supporter, married and living in California's Central Valley, who was offended by the upheavals of the time, disgusted by anti-war protestors, and blamed much of the upheaval on the demon weed. Who knew?

By the following decade, things had changed dramatically. Divorced, Herer's new girlfriend persuaded him to try marijuana. Here, the DVD shows a dancing girl as Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" booms out on the soundtrack, an apt evocation of Herer's transformation from military policeman to hippie, from Goldwater Republican to radical.

With Emmy Award winner Peter Coyote narrating, and with archival footage and interviews from the likes of NORML's Keith Stroup, historian Michael Aldrich, Kevin Zeese, and Dr. John Morgan, "Jack Herer" tracks Herer's odyssey from author of a 1973 marijuana cartoon book to his subsequent experience as recipient of knowledge from innumerable people about not just pot, but hemp, and all its uses, his opening of the first hemp store on Venice Beach in 1979, and ultimately the publication of the book that made him famous and re-energized the marijuana legalization movement, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes."

The DVD acknowledges the early conflicts between Herer and the drug reform movement, which at first considered him at best an over-enthusiastic partisan and at worst a crank. Herer thought hemp could be central to ending marijuana prohibition, not to mention that it could "save the world," and the be-suited boys back East weren't buying what that wild-eyed, tie-dyed, missionary Californian was selling.

A number of years later, the movement types were suitable contrite. "He overstated the case a bit," said Stroup. "We were embarrassed; we thought it could undermine our credibility."

Instead Herer almost singlehandedly revitalized the pot movement with the 1985 publication of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," the magnum opus of hemp, and an intoxicating combination of unknown history, polemics, and passion that turned a new generation on not just to hemp, but to pot, the history of its criminalization, and the need to undo prohibition.

"Jack Herer" describes the tenets of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes" fairly without wholeheartedly endorsing his theory of an evil troika of Harry Anslinger, the Dupont family, and Andrew Mellon conspiring to bring on prohibition. And I think that's fair. Herer's conspirators most certainly played a role in pot prohibition, but the anti-marijuana movement was alive and well in this country well before Anslinger and the others were active in the 1930s.

Maybe hemp won't "save the world," but there is no arguing that it is a tremendously valuable plant with a multitude of uses that can help improve the environment, create jobs, and provide us with everything from biodiesel to body panels to an ever-increasing variety of hemp-based foods.

And Herer's perhaps overenthusiastic message was received enthusiastically by that new generation, especially when tied to his never-forgotten broader campaign to legalize marijuana, beginning with initiative campaigns back in the 1970s. Between bringing hemp to the forefront and energizing a movement suffering through the depths of the Reagan Era, Herer cemented his place in movement history.

But he didn't stop there. In fact, he didn't stop until he fell over unconscious at a movement event just after giving one last speech. Herer was a movement presence throughout the 1990s, and by then, had won the acceptance of the movement, which recognized the enormous contribution he had made. Despite a 2001 stroke that laid him low, he bounced back, still out proselytizing and organizing, even as he moved slowly and struggled to control his voice.

In California, at least, every marijuana movement figure of a certain age knew Jack Herer. Whether from his days as the hemp hawker of Venice Beach or the decades of activism that followed, Herer has made a lasting impact on California's -- and indeed, the country's -- marijuana legalization movement. "Jack Herer is the Emperor of Hemp" pays fond homage to a true movement hero. It is definitely worth checking out, especially as you ponder the man, his life's work, and his impact on the marijuana reform movement.

(Order this and other new membership premiums by donating to StoptheDrugWar.org.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Let's keep the movement going!

Jack was definitely ahead of his time.  His ideas about Hemp saving the planet are even MORE relevant today.   Let's keep his message alive. Use Hemp products!  They are carbon neutral and truly a "green" way to live.

Dave

http://www.thehempnetwork.com/omega

[email protected]

Legal hemp will save the world!

I have studied useful plants in a village technology context, and only bamboo and coconuts come anywhere near hemp for general all round usefulness. Allowing rural communities around the world to have back an important crop and industry will have a dramatic impact on their viability. People will be able to move back to rural regions with out fear for their financial security. Cities can be less congested and could grow at a more manageable pace. And ending prohibition is certainly going to have a huge impact on the well being and security of the world people. Prohibition has a massively corrupting influence on our governments and results in a brutal over policing of our private lives. And politicians corrupted by prohibition find themselves incapable of making appropriate decision when it comes to sound management of our communities. With starved rural communities, corrupt governments, drug funded terrorism and wars rampant around the world, I really don't think it's too much to claim that legal hemp would save the world. I think Jack was as much a prophet as he was an activist.

Yeah Paul Pot!

Paul Pot: I agree with your comment above and want to add that I think your name is fantastic. Have you been to Cambodia? Have you seed the cannabis for sale in the markets?

I remember touring with Jack in 1992-93

Brought back a huge slice of world history...Hell of a story.

The Hemperor

I met Jack Herer a few times in the 1990's. I believe the first time was at the capital steps in Olympia, WA where he signed my copy of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." I also saw him at Bill Code's "Hempfest" in Oregon a year or so later. He was always full of energy and getting the word out on all things cannabis (hemp and marijuana). If there ever were a "loudspeaker preaching character" of hemp, it would hands-down be Jack Herer!

To support hemp, there are 3 things that you should do:

  1. Educate yourself and others. The Global Hemp web site has tons on info.
  2. Vote with your dollars and purchase hemp products.
  3. Request that your Congressman support Ron Paul and Barney Franks federal industrial hemp bill.

THis one surely is funny!

well, i assume that the movie will have a great release and will have good profits because I too is excited with the upcoming movie!

Let our Farmers Grow!

When I read the “Emperor Wears No Clothes” back in 1995 for the first time I really thought that this was something new or at least a rediscovered  valuable resource (Billion-Dollar Crop – 25,000 products). Being somewhat of a dreamer, my first thought after reading his book, I thought for sure my next adventure would be a Farmer of Hemp.

I even started looking for farming land that may be secured before the good farm land got covered with warehouse and parking lots.

It did take very long to understand that there was a Drug War going on and the more I looked into this idea it became apparent that I was looking at a real uphill challenge.

Then I started looking at the internet for information and the more I looked the more I could see that this mess was being driven by the controllers of the US Government around the world!

Then it came to me; this war is about HEMP and Marijuana was the perfect tool for the powers that be were going to hold on to this catch 22 to the bitter end!

Once Marijuana is no longer in prohibition, HEMP will flourish and our country will start to heal!

 

Johnny Hempseed.

Green Herb, Hemp Linen, thank you Jack. PX the Red Dragon

Jack and I had many talks over the years as he stayed at my farm many times when he passed through Ohio with his hemp entourage.  Jack celebrated his 55th birthday at our Save the Farm fest in 1994.  One thing Jack told me about stuck in my mind and I have pursued it further.  An old friend of his wrote a book based on marijuana in the Bible but it was a limited publication and lost to history for all practical purposes.  Even Jack did not know how he could get a copy and had lost his years ago. About a decade later I figured it out while doing research on religions and ancient history.  Here are the basics:

"GODS GREEN HERB":  On  the Sixth Day of Creation, God gave man "the Green Herb" to use as "meat" for all  living things.  When Noah first stepped off the Arc, in the first verse, God gives Noah "the Green Herb."  There is no other plant, let alone an herb, that has all GREEN flowers, leaves, stems, branches, trunk, roots, and is also among the few and unique plants that have both male and female plants; and can go gay - hermaphrodite. 

King James version calls it the "Green Herb."  Other versions change "green herb" to "green vegetation"  but that is redundant as vegetation was previously created in earlier days.  And "green" is very specific.  It is the same in all languages over all time.  Had a name such as ginsing or rishi been given, then nobody today would know for sure what the meaning was because language changes so much over thousands of years, whereas color remains the same.  "Green" as in green grass or "green herb" is very specific and obviously is a unique metaphor.  But that is only a small part of  the greater conspiracy.

"Linen" in the Bible is made from hemp, a result of the "green herb."  Bible scholars insist Biblical linen is made from flax. But, virtually all Egyptian mummies test positive for  cocaine and hashish.  The Pharaohs were pot heads and they wore hemp "linen" clothing.  Hemp grows in arid climates; flax does better in more  temperate climates.

So what?  Why the conspiracy?  Consider the Book  of Daniel which contains the only two references to the Messiah/Messias and is the "Writing on the Wall."  Daniel was a captured Jew sequestered in Babylon who did psychic interpretations for King Nebuchadnezzar.   There are 12 chapters in the Book of Daniel and they are all "visions and dreams"; for example:  "I was standing near the river Chebar when an angel appeared clothed in linen."  First of all who cares what fabric someone is wearing and how can you possibly recognize its fiber when the person, or 'angel' is standing far away?  Obviously, this is not a reference to a fabric but a metaphor for the Green Herb.

Put another way, Daniel was cruising with THC in his body; maybe he smoked the green herb in a clay chillum (chillum is a standard smoking implement found in almost all excavated ancient civilizations) or maybe he ate it.  Daniel got good and stoned and saw god, an "angel," the alien sent down by the "lords from above" on the "Rock of Ages" 

The "Rock of Ages" is a metaphor for the Planet of the Gods which is returning from the "bottomless pit" of outer space, "for a season" to cause major Earth changes; CO2 is a smoke screen obscuring the real reason they can not talk about 'the serpent, dragon, the devil and Satan' which is in the sky now.  In ancient Babylon, Daniel knew it as the 12th planet or Nibiru. 

Everyone should Google Planet X and follow the conspiracy.  The powers-that-be most fear the truth getting out to "the meek and humble" to expand their consciousness with "God's green herb." That is why Biblical metaphors are so difficult to understand. You have to be stoned on God's Green Herb to read and understand the computer generated characters printed in a continuous line and given to Moses along with the Ten Commandments. The first five Books of the Bible are the Tora the 'lords from above' gave to the wandering tribe of Jews fleeing Egypt after the last time Nibiru caused havoc on Earth and resulted in the Biblical Seven Plagues.

All you have to do is look on  the back of your greenback.  It is an IOU for your gold:  IN GOD WE TRUST> The Planet of the Gods staring over its celestial marker, on Earth - the Great Pyramid - built to last "a thousand years"; or in the case of PX, 3,657 years average.  The last time here it ended the Empire of Nibiru-Chadnezzar; they were the Mardukes from the Code of Hammurabi and the "Dukes" whose lineage is given in the Book of Genesis.  And all you need to figure this out is God's Green Herb and an Internet connection.  Download any Bible download such as Bible Pro and get multiple versions of the Bible with a search engine. Compare King James to the Catholic version for example. Then do your own search for all kinds of words besides green herb and linen.

It is the Greatest Story Never Told making it the biggest conspiracy Ever!

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School