Jeannie Herer: Carrying on the work of the Emperor of Hemp
Jeannie Herer, Medical Cannabis Activist
When Jeannie met Jack Herer— a longtime activist known as the ‘Emperor of Hemp’—in 1994, she never imagined the path her life would take. Now, over 20 years later, she carries on her own work in the industry and plans to establish the Jack Herer Museum to carry on Jack’s work and his legacy posthumously.
Cannabis has been a part of my life since the 70’s, but I was just a kid then. It’s just what we did. We hung out, partied a little. It was all about having fun with like-minded people. I could never have guessed how my life would evolve, how central the plant and the movement would be in my life, personally and professionally. Now, I’m involved with like-minded people in a bigger way. It continues to be a challenging but rewarding path.
It has been five years since Jack passed away. To say it’s been a roller coaster ride since, is a huge understatement. The bottom line, however, is that I’m in this industry to stay.
As always, I’ve maintained and updated Jack’s site. Right now, I also help patients get their Nevada medical cards. Currently, only medical Cannabis is allowed, not recreational. It’s an unbelievably convoluted and lengthy process. The application costs $25 and it literally takes 4-6 weeks just to receive it after you send in your request for one. Then you make an appointment with a doctor so they can fill out one of the forms in the application packet. They charge around $150. Then, the State charges another $75 to process it. That takes several more weeks.
It has been five years since Jack passed away. To say it’s been a roller coaster ride since is a huge understatement. The bottom line, however, is that I’m in this industry to stay.
The company I work for charges $45 for our services to help move the process along and deal with any problems. And, of course, forms have to be notarized, which is another out-of-pocket expense for patients. To top it off, from what I hear anyway, there are only three people processing the thousands and thousands of applications that are filed in Nevada. So by the time you get your card, months have passed and you have spent an excess of $300.
And with that card, you don’t just run off to your nearest dispensary to get your medicine—unless you live in or near Sparks, Nevada! I’m happy to say that the state’s first dispensary finally opened there on July 31st, 15 years after voters approved to legalize medical marijuana. So, we have our first victory! If you try other dispensaries, all you’ll find is a sign that says, “Coming Soon!”…and has been hanging in the window for quite some time. The industry is moving at a snail’s pace here. While cultivation regulations are being determined, dispensaries can only legally get Cannabis from card-holding patients, but the law now states that a patient can only be in possession of 2.5 ounces over a two week period. It’s a catch-22, a ridiculous one.
I’ve seen and heard so many powerful stories along the way, so many reasons to keep up the fight for legalization. I could never give up on this industry.
So at this point, patients are basically relying on growing their own Cannabis. But at least they are allowed to have up to 12 plants. Legislation will change! And I’ll do all I can to help move it along.
I’ve seen and heard so many powerful stories along the way, so many reasons to keep up the fight for legalization. I could never give up on this industry. I actually met Jack for the first time in Amsterdam in 1994 at a Cannabis Cup. I was living in Arizona at the time and had joined an acting group. My agent told me her husband had started a NORML chapter and invited me to a meeting. It was there that I heard about Jack’s book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. I read it, and it changed my life!
In 1996, I moved to Los Angeles. Mutual friends of ours told me I should join Jack’s activist group, HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition). He also had a hemp booth in Venice Beach, so I headed over there. The rest is history. We were together ever since and married on 9-9-99.
I’ve seen and heard of many miracles of the healing powers of Cannabis, before and after meeting Jack. But when it touches the life of someone you love, it really hits home.
I’ve seen and heard of many miracles of the healing powers of Cannabis, before and after meeting Jack. But when it touches the life of someone you love, it really hits home. It was a part of our daily life, but there were a couple of instances with Jack’s health that really stand out. Around March of 2009, he was on the road and tripped and broke six ribs in a motel bathroom. Doctors, of course, prescribed morphine and said it would take nine months for him to heal. He had already been taking Cannabis oil for at least a couple of years. We amped it up a little and he was healed and pain-free in one month!
I was allowed to put the Cannabis oil on the affected areas (because, naturally, they couldn’t legally do so). The doctors and nurses were amazed at the healing of the sores and his beat up arm within 24 hours.
In September of 2009 Jack had a stroke and heart attack while giving a speech at a hemp festival in Portland, Oregon. The day after he was put in the hospital, his arm literally looked like hamburger from all the needles and IV’s. Because Jack couldn’t communicate due to the stroke, I had to speak for him and kept pressing to use Cannabis oil on his arm and also the sores he had on his legs due to Diabetes. Once the doctors finally relented, I was allowed to put the Cannabis oil on the affected areas (they couldn’t legally do so). The doctors and nurses were amazed at the healing of the sores and his beat up arm within 24 hours. After a few months, I was able to take him home and help him heal as much as possible in peace. He passed away in 2010, but Cannabis kept him as comfortable as possible.
All I need to know is that people everywhere deserve access to it. It fights disease and facilitates healing—mental and physical. That’s the bottom line. Hemp and Marijuana combined truly can save the planet!
I wish more people understood the healing powers of this incredible plant. It is unique on this planet. I’ve heard that the DNA spirals to the left. I don’t know if it’s true or not…and I guess it doesn’t really matter. All I need to know is that people everywhere deserve access to it. It fights disease and facilitates healing—mental and physical. That’s the bottom line. Cannabis Hemp can truly save the planet!
Looking ahead, I just want to continue to help educate people. The real reason I came to Nevada was to establish the Jack Herer museum. I literally have 167 boxes of his possessions and mementos that would serve to document the movement to legalize and to explain to people who Jack really was and what he stood for…and still stands for.
My first effort was to set up a museum and gift shop in Carson City in the summer of 2009. Jack originally wanted to open a head shop there but when we found out two other ones had been shut down not long before, we decided a museum might go over better. Then, fortunately, I met an ex-cop who told me, point blank, the city was simply not ready for it. He literally asked me, “What are you gonna do when the cops plant a pound of weed on you?” That was all I needed to hear and I’m grateful for his insight and blatant honesty to this day!
I’m not sure how the Jack Herer Museum will come together, but I know it will. You meet all kinds in this industry. And I’m meeting more well-intentioned people along the way. When the time is right, it will all come together.
Last year, I talked with activist Lanny Swerdlow. He told me I need a business plan and an organization, not just an idea. He and his partner, Victor, helped me sort though Jack’s stuff; That’s when I realized just how much there is and what a valuable and educational contribution it all can make to the industry and to moving it ahead.
I’m not sure how the Jack Herer Museum will come together, but I know it will. You meet all kinds in this industry. And I’m meeting more well-intentioned people along the way. When the time is right, it will all come together. It takes a lot of patience to keep going in the Cannabis Hemp world. So far, so good…and I foresee good things ahead.
To those of you also forging a path, I love you and I love what you stand for. Keep it positive and keep up the good work!
Jeannie has quite an amazing story! Have you any supportive words you can share with her? Would you like to see the Jack Herer Museum come into existence? Please leave a comment…