Apr 21 2010

The Jack Herer Initiative post mortem


Jack Herer’s last words, delivered 3 minutes before his stroke.

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Yesterday, Allan St. Pierre, Executive Director of The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML), announced on NORML’s website that he was donating $420 of his own money to the campaign in California to pass the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 this November in memory of his friend Jack Herer.

The previous day, Monday, was the last day for Charles Jacobs, the official proponent of The Jack Herer Initiative, to submit the signatures to qualify for the California ballot in November.

When asked today how he thinks Jack Herer felt about Tax & Regulate, Jacobs replied that Herer “thought it was disgusting”.

Jack had a stroke while speaking at Hempstalk in Oregon on 12 Sep 2009.  What followed was a battle royale with all the intrigue and tragedy of Shakespeare.

Herer, author of The Emperor Wears no Clothes and credited with launching the modern hemp movement, died on Tax Day, April 15th.

The following conversation with Michael Jolson regarding the Jack Herer Initiative occurred 10 Apr 2010 on Chuck Jacobs’ Facebook wall.  The exclamation points are Jolson’s.

J Craig Canada: I’ve asked you twice about the signature gathering and received no response. There is one week left to submit the signatures to get it on the ballot.

Michael Jolson: The 2010 campaign was a bit premature due to Jack’s near fatal tragedy and is a terrible election for true cannabis reform!

2012 is what I’m working on and would love to get people thinking post-2010 politics!

We need one million dollars pronto to do this thing right!

I told the Emperor this past summer to back off 2010 and go for 2012 instead!

May 15th 2010 in Venice Beach is the Greener Fest – dedicated to Jack!

To honor Jack we have to do the Initiative right! No money yields minimal signatures!

2010 is a washout for this initiative and was a complete waste of time because we have to do it right and not half-assed!

We owe it to ourselves, the Planet, and to the Emperor to do it right this time – 2012!

J Craig Canada: It will, most likely, be too late by 2012. If you had been willing to work with me and communicate with me, we might have pulled this off.

I fear the time is now, and you have blown it.

Was Jack going to announce the initiative and signature drive at WAMMFest? (26 Sep 2009, exactly two weeks after Herer had the stroke at Hempstalk.)

Michael Jolson: Actually this is Mike not Chuck! I didn’t throw my hat into the 2010 ring for the exact reason u are feeling – no million dollars to fund the initiative!

I actually told Chuck at Earthdance 2009 not to file the 2010 Initiative, but they did because they felt that’s what the Emperor was going to do!

I would love your involvement in the next initiative!

Jack would have spoken about the Initiative at WammFest for sure!

Val and Mike are always in support of our campaign although their hands are busy with WAMM!

I just had to respond to your post even though they were to Chuck!

Check out www.greenerfest.com on May 15th 2010!

It is true, by 2012 the Mayans have been marking this as a potential galactic shift !

Shifts happen!

J Craig Canada: Did you ask John Gilmore?

Michael Jolson: The name sounds familiar … can’t place it though!  With Jack, met so many activists it is hard to remember all the faces!

The 2010 campaign had some support from professional petitioners who volunteered their time and was run by a gentleman named Dan Cooper!

I appointed him state coordinator of the 2008 initiative (I was a proponent) for the purpose of coordinating the professional signature gatherers.

We never could pay the professionals in 2008 and never should have tried until we had the funding in place!

We need to do it right and despite the wording of Oaksterdams 2010 initiative, they did it right by having the $$ in place!

Michael Jolson: You are so right brother! I guess we gotta fight the Powers that be! Even within our own “movement “!

You rock, brother!

Michael Jolson: Thanks for refreshing my memory and yes I have spoken with him personally on this subject !

He wanted to see a poll on our wording and asked how we expected to pull off an initiative without funding for a poll!

This was at the NORML convention in San Fran a few years ago – I knew I knew the name!

He kinda had a typical elitist attitude and showed no interest in helping the grandfather of the hemp movement!

He could have funded the poll himself!

Michael Jolson: Let’s raise funds for a poll regarding our legalize it like wine initiative!  Jack was always against a poll – but it seems to be the professional route to take!  Even the big Whig himself said to do the poll – Ethan Nadelmann!

Maybe it is time to approach John soon for 2012!  The event in Venice will be a fertile time to launch 2012, since it is a pure Jack event – not a watered down half legalize it show!

May 15th is the real deal from the folks who never stopped supporting Jack – like George Clayton Johnson, Scott, Marie, newer folks to the movement like Lazy Bones!

It is a rally to Relegalize it Jacks way!

J Craig Canada: Too little too late.

Michael Jolson: Well, I and others, I’m sure Chuck and Buddy Duzy, George Clayton Johnson, Dan Cooper (professional petition coordinator) are gonna push for 2012 – despite our rag tag outfit!

We will build this movement from the ground up again and magically and miraculously place Jack’s Initiative on the 2012 ballot!

Jack didn’t work his whole life for half-legalization so we will carry on his work in hopes he will soon tell us himself to “go do it God damn it!”

“Do it Chuck, god damn it!” I can hear him now!

J Craig Canada: May I quote your comments here?

Michael Jolson: Without apology!  I speak of course for myself in regards to the future 2012 initiative, though!

I mentioned those individuals, assuming they will be involved as old and crucial friends of Jacks!

Having our dear friend Jack unable to directly communicate to us is painful and depressing to no end! My buddy Jack, a lot of our buddies, was probably the single smartest human being I have ever met.  As a close friend, I can almost hear him yell to all of us “relegalize it 100% in 2012, God D–**mn it!”

Michael Jolson: Actually if you please quote the positive, because there is enough negativity to go around!

I do appreciate your info and opinion especially in regard to this current initiative!

I have talked with Jack through the phone and I know he understands what I was saying to him!

As I talked with/to him the other day, Jeannie said I put him to sleep.  Just then his eyes opened, so I kept talking to him!  Telling him how important it is for me and for of course to get stronger and better and soon you’ll (Jack) be speaking again!

I told him we will be doing the initiative again for 2012, like I had told him last summer (at his house)!

The Emperor is well aware of what’s going on, I could have sworn I thought I heard him mumble something!

God bless this man, Jack Herer, and his dream and his faith and unrelentless attitude for this plant to be completely and comprehensively relegalized, as he would say, “100%”!

Thank you for your insight and I’m sure good work for all these years!

It’s time to show the media -the world’s media- that “the Emperor Wears No Clothes,” and Relegalize it already !

Chuck Jacobs: Well said!!  I am sorry I didn’t get back with you when we stopped getting the signatures, this year.  We know how to save the earth!  We won’t believe the hype.  I know a lot of people here in CA that do not like Richard Lee’s Initiative. I was just shocked in MI to hear it being looked at as a foundation for the country. This is not good. I think Jack would call it DISGUSTING!!  That is said with LOVE for TRUTH!! Don’t be confused!!

Upon reading the above Facebook conversation, Joy Graves had this to say:

Chuck and I were at the 2009 NORML conference when we were told they were afraid to support the initiative because of the wording regarding the jail/prison area, I believe in section 2. Jack had indicated to me and some others that he was intending on changing the wording to specify that only by pot convictions would a person be released should it pass, not other offenses holding them in there with a pot charge as well, just pot charges.

When these guys first filed the initiative, it didn’t make it either but I think it made it a little farther than when Chuck was running it this time around.

Jack said that he was concerned with sobriety testing by law enforcement which is covered in the initiative Chuck filed, he said he was concerned that cops might push a stopped person with continuous testing until they could get something on the stopped person if the cop knows the person was high. So, he was contemplating on how to word it so they couldn’t. Also, yes, he preferred that cannabis not be taxed at all, but too, he knows that without Uncle Sam getting his “cut” of things, odds are lesser that something would be passed into law.

In a previous conversation regarding The Jack Herer Initiative, the owner of WeedBay characterized Jacobs as being obstructionist regarding the signature drive.  When asked about this, Joy Graves stated:

There were a lot of people trying to find out how to help the initiative, all of us were directing them to Chuck as he insisted that he was going to handle it. He and I both agreed to put Jack’s name directly onto the initiative before he went down to file it, it wasn’t something Jack himself planned to do and hadn’t when he filed it before in 2006, it was the California Hemp and Health Initiative.

When Chuck went down to file it we were under the impression it was going to be filed as Jack’s initiative, but as it turned out Chuck only put Jack’s name onto the bill itself, Chuck filed the actual initiative only using his own name, so if you look it up with the state, it looks like it’s Chuck’s initiative which irritated the people who actually were involved with Jack in creating it years ago, way before Chuck even became known to or by Jack.

Graves stated that many people asked for signature forms and didn’t get any, including a number of dispensaries in Southern California.  She  “more or less” agreed that Jacobs was “obstructionist”.  “Chuck wanted only he to be in control of the initiative,” which was fine by her as she wanted to focus on Jack’s health.

For more info:
Special 4/20 message from NORML’s executive director Allan St. Pierre – NORML | 20 Apr 2010
Author and hemp activist Jack Herer has died – The Los Angeles Times | 16 Apr 2010
The Hemperor, Jack Herer has died – Salem-News.com | 15 Apr 2010
Jack Herer’s Empire Under Siege – Cannabis Culture | 9 Dec 2009

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