Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jack Herer (#2): Worthy Of A Scythian Send-Off.

Jack Herer in Boulder in the early '90s.

Jack Herer at the Colorado State Capitol in the early '90s, lecturing a crowd on how hemp sails fueled oceangoing exploration.

Jack Herer in Lakewood, Colorado in 1991 with his friend "Captain Ed" Adair.

Cannabis and the Dead
Cannabis was an integral part of the Scythian cult of the dead, wherein homage was paid to the memory of their departed leaders. After the death and burial of their king, the Scythians would purify themselves by setting up small tepee-like structures which they would enter to inhale the fumes of hemp seeds (and the resinous flower calyxes surrounding the seeds) thrown onto red-hot stones.

In a famous passage written in about 450 B.C., Herodotus describes these funeral rites as follows:

...when, therefore, the Scythians have taken some seed of this hemp, they creep under the cloths and put the seeds on the red hot stones; but this being put on smokes, and produces such a steam, that no Grecian vapour-bath would surpass it. The Scythians, transported by the vapour, shout aloud.

Long live Jack Herer, the father of the modern hemp and cannabis legalization movement! Herer passed away on April 15, 2010.

I was one of the last writers to conduct a full-length feature interview with Herer, which was published in Medical Marijuana News and Directory last year, before Herer suffered another heart attack in September and his health declined irrevocably. The interview is reprinted over at Westword -- which interviewed me, as well, about Herer's passing.

Hopefully, there have been enough smoke signals sent up, in order to lead Jack along on his journey. Hopefully, he's getting a send-off worthy of a Scythian king!

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