Who Is Henry Hemp?

Flash Rosenstein

The first time I ever heard of Henry Hemp was about 2 months after I moved to Southern California. I was already abound with unbridled  exuberance having recently discovered Cannabis Planet, a local T.V. show about pot and it’s heads. I told anyone who would listen that L.A. had Elephantitis of the scrotum and immediately fell in love with the new closest metropolis my suburban ass now sat. One particular episode cut to a scene featuring an over caffeinated, wide-eyed, sprightly face donning a foam hemp headdress pointing and shouting at a Cannabis Planet billboard. Initially my thoughts of this barking lunatic were what my father might describe as a schmendrick with a hall of fame case of the shpilkes.  

It is hard to shake off those old world assumptions pounded into your head for decades. At the time I thought it as improbable of me interviewing Henry and his wife January as it would be Lindsay Lohan passing up a mimosa  while “shopping” for jewelry. Now 4 years later as our paths cross I’m reminded of the Anti Nowhere League song We Are The League; “You criticize us you say we’re shit but we’re up here and we’re doing it. So don’t criticize  the things we do. No one fucking pays to come and see you.” 
When I decided to start my journey into Cannabis Culture by interviewing Cannabis and Hemp activist, I imagined my days filled with free highs provided by esoteric strains. What I have come to discover is that each person is struggling for a cause that at least in the short-term isn’t providing what you would call a steady dose of income. Let’s face it, if you can’t afford a lobbying office on K street, raising money for your cause is a struggle. If your cause happens to be a quasi legal substance that has been on the official government prohibition list since 1937, you have less likelihood to raise that money. Even leading a normal life is not easy. If you decide to have a baby while choosing to live in the potlight, it’s best to get the number of a few good lawyers as you can expect Child Protective Services to stick to you like Bush on bullshit. Just ask Henry and January.

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