We can blame Jack Herer for legal marijuana.
Back in 1990, one year before the first Seattle Hempfest, my colleagues and I obtained a copy of Jack Herer’s book,The Emperor Wears No Clothes. The title is in reference to The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen. Herer uses Andersen’s story as an allegory for the current prohibition of cannabis. Herer’s assemblage of factoids, news clippings, graphs and pie charts detailed a rich history of propaganda, collusion, and conspiracy on the part of the U.S. government and certain monopolistic industrial interests.
The goal of those conspiratorial efforts was to thwart the Indian Hemp plant from domestic production in order to replace hemp as a raw material in the manufacture and production of thousands of household items. After these power players successfully prohibited the domestic cultivation of all forms of cannabis (including industrial hemp), synthetic petro-chemical based materials as well as wood fiber products went on to completely replace hemp in the U.S. marketplace — a staple of human existence since the beginning of modern civilization (roughly 5,000+ years). Cannabis was considered a primary tool of medicine, and deemed highly valuable because, if administered, no amount of it could kill a patient. That was all to change as petro-chemicals became a primary source of American medicine. That was the plan of the industrialists all along.
Herer’s book is universally hailed as the catalyst that initiated the modern cannabis reform movement. Herer did not stop with industrial hemp; he boldly and unashamedly championed the triad of the modern reform movement: industrial hemp, medical marijuana, and personal use of cannabis.