Author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the 'bible of hemp knowledge', and tireless activist for cannabis and hemp - Jack Herer. Credit:
Author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, the 'bible of hemp knowledge', and tireless activist for cannabis and hemp - Jack Herer.

Who was the Hemperor?

If it wasn’t for him…weed wouldn’t be where it is at today. 

Posted by: on Thursday Feb 18, 2016

If you’re smoking weed today and you don’t know who the Hemperor is, you definitely need to brush up on your weed history. Jack Herer is one of the most iconic names in the modern history of cannabis. You might even say, if it wasn’t for him…weed wouldn’t be where it is at today. 

Who was the Hemperor, Jack Herer? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


While most pages write about good ol’ Jack on his birthday, we thought it necessary to write about him as a service to cannabis smokers everywhere. The Hemperor helped uncover the lies told by prohibition by writing a couple of books called “Grass” and “The Emperor Wears No Clothes.” 


Both of these books became cult classics and Jack Herer instantly became an “authority” on cannabis. Today we’ll dig deeper into who this man was and how he helped the cannabis movement gain the momentum it has today. 


The Origins of the Hemperor


Born in Brooklym NY on June 18, 1939, Jack Herer was your average guy with a sense of justice deeply embedded into his being. For a large portion of his life he wasn’t even involved with the Marijuana Movement at all. It was only until he turned 30 that he became interested in the cannabis movement. In fact, he even threatened to divorce his first wife after he found out that she smoked pot. 


He was a prohibitionist inclined Republican, a war veteran and had no interest in marijuana at all. After the divorce of his first wife, he moved to California where he was introduced to cannabis in 1967. And being an avid scholar, he embarked on a journey to find out everything he could about pot. 


The First Ruckus 


By 1973, he co-authored G.R.A.S.S (Great Revolutionary American Standard System: The Official Guide for Assessing the Quality of Marijuana on the 1 to 10 scale). That same year he founded a smoke shop and launched a campaign to legalize marijuana…”or die trying” as he said. Little did he know that his movement would spark the biggest cannabis revolution the world has ever seen. 


For the decades that followed, Jack Herer always spoke up, organized initiatives, protests and was a voice in the marijuana movement that people could simply not silence. 


It wasn’t until 1983 that Jack wrote his iconic book “The Emperor Wears no Clothes” which he started writing in jail for not paying a $5 fee for registering voters in a parking lot. We could call it the drop that spilled the glass. 


The Book that became the Manifesto of the Marijuana Movement


If you haven’t read “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” I highly recommend that you do. Right now, we have a lot of information available for us due to the internet, however Jack went the “old school” method of research and uncovered historic documents that painted a very different picture about marijuana than what was told by the government. 


Jack considered this book the pinnacle of his success and even offered $100,000 dollars to anyone that could disprove the validity of the information in the book. No one has disproven the context of his research thus far. 


He even ran or president twice during his life, not with the hopes of ever winning but to place a public figure on center stage to raise awareness of the state of cannabis in the country.  His passion and charisma helped launch him into the public eye and he definitely caught the attention of the masses. 


His book, which covered the history of cannabis from the beginning of recorded history showed people just how useful this plant really is and more importantly, what a crime it is to keep it illegal. He even obtained documentaries produced by the Federal Government that called for people to grow Hemp during WWII. 


Covering all angles, from medical, recreational and industrial applications of marijuana, this book gave all cannabis enthusiasts the tools they needed to debate and stand up for marijuana rights everywhere. 


In fact, his book is one of the main reasons why people even know nowadays that marijuana has medical benefits and more importantly, how America was swindled into outlawing their most useful crop which according to Popular Mechanics, was poised to replace all tree based paper and become America’s first billion-dollar crop. 




While he was an avid advocate for smoking marijuana, Jack’s main premise for debate was the legalization of Hemp, which he believed was the ultimate source for fuel, fiber, food and medicine. Knowing that it can be grown in nearly everywhere, he saw it as the solution people have been looking for in relation to hunger, housing, health and much more. 


Hemp, which is the non-psychoactive counterpart of cannabis has over 50,000 different applications and is the real reason why cannabis is illegal. I’m not going to jump into a history lesson and you could always read “The Emperor Wears No Clothes" by Jack Herer”on his website where a free copy of the book is available. 


The Legend


Jack Herer will forever be remembered as a legend to the cannabis community. We hope that this article helped shed some light on this amazing man and we encourage new cannabis smokers to pick up a copy of his book. It’s like the crash course in all things marijuana and is a must read for any serious stoner. 


Now, you know why there is a strain named after him.







What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: