To celebrate the 20th birthday of the legendary “Jack Herer” put on the market in November of 1994 by Sensi Seeds, Jacker Mag invites you to discover the story of an extraordinary friendship deeply connected with a common dream. That particular friendship seems to be the result of one those meetings that were meant to happen. And as a consequence, the wonderful community movement surrounding the culture of cannabis would keep on growing.
That very first time.
Before 1969, Jach Herer was still kind of a conservative person, pretty far from the hippie ideals he is known to have, and also very proud of his beloved American country fighting in Vietnam. However, he smoked his first joint because of his love for a woman. Considering that he was a strong opponent to cannabis and that he basically had no idea what he could expect from the psychoactive substance, he did not feel anything the first time, which made him think that his mind was actually immune against the effects of the plant. His girlfriend did not give up though : one night, she let him smoke a Sativa type of weed, which made him truly high for the first time.
A couple of years before that, Ben Dronkers shared his first joint with a friend on the Maasburg bridge in Rotterdam. The similar process took place as he would start to feel the psychoactive effects of the plant after the second or the third time he would use it. In an interview given to the Sensi Seeds Blog, Ben Dronkers claims that “the first time, people don’t really notice how high they are. It is not seldom to watch this kind of attitude with unexperienced pot smokers : they are completely high, but they don’t get it. As far as I’m concerned, I was just very happy to stand there, just having fun on that bridge, it was fantastic !”. Besides that, his mother would develop his sensibility toward plants : the different ways to collect resin, how to make the flowers dry and also the various effects it would bring on people’s mind would simply fascinate him and incitated him to push his work with cannabis further.
A growing involvement.
As soon as he opened up his mind to the cannabis world, Jack’s curiosity about the arguments of what used to be opposite to his conservative point of view would rapidly grow. He started to promote a progressive look at the burning issue that was cannabis back then and even published comics dealing with the topic in the early 70s. Soon, he would fully take part in a world that was willing to welcome him. When he understood that the use of hemp helped the Humanity to put clothes on, to develop medical treatments and even to feed people, all his doubts concerning prohibition and the propaganda on the issue would find reasons to grow.
On his side, Ben could take advantage from the various vertues of weed. In the early 70s, his trips to Turkey, Pakistan and also Afghanistan would help him to develop his practical knowledge about the use of the plant. Some local farmers gave him seeds. Ben started to see the true potential of the green gold from where numerous varieties of hemp grew easily. Thats how he naturally got into ganja farming : trying to chemically associate various types of weed so that he could combine with each other the different and largely unknown effects from the plant. Therefore, he would try to improve his knowledge about the harvest of weed while travelling around the places in the world where hemp is a milenary heritage.
Having troubles with the law.
In January 1981, in front of a federal building in LA, Jack and five fellows were collecting signatures to support the use of hemp right before the Investiture ceremony of Ronald Reagan. When Reagan arrived at the location, he confused them with Canadian demonstrators (same with the maple leaf and the one we know better ...) and had them busted right away. Each member of the group had to pay a five dollar fine exept Jack who was kept in jail for two weeks. Such an unfortunate event help his bitterness to grow more and more.
At the same time, the Doctor Dronkers was growing ganja and combining species to develop new varities. Back then, the Dutch were mostly hashish smokers, cannabis being almost unknown and imported from Thaïland and Africa. When Ben commercialized some weed in his first coffee shop, the success did not knock at his door right away. Some would even name the weed “spinach”... Ben was going in and out of jail. He was often kept prisonner for a couple of days or even for a couple of hours. The sentences regarding cannabis were not heavy back then and Ben truly wanted to develop the use of the plant.
Two main events.
Few years back, in 1974, Jack Herer had an enlightened vision which brought him to start what would become his lifetime achievement. He wanted to show the entire world that hemp could save the planet we live on. Biofuel could replace fossil fuels and be used for paper confection against deforestation; a bunch of alternative ways by which hemp opens an environmently friendly logic. This “switch” could save the world : but how could it be possible to touch people if it’s not by writing his own story ? Behind bars, the machine was laid to become what is known today as being one of the most famous testimony about hemp, activism and of course cannabis, “The emperor wears no clothes”. This best seller published in ’85 (same date as Sensi Seeds official creation) attracted the world’s attention. Jack Herer still maintains his $100 000 challenge to anyone who’d be able to refute his allegations.
The time he was put in jail helped Ben Dronkers to find the perfect solution to his problems. While reading the Opium Act, he realized that it was not illegal to sell cannabis seeds ... but how can someone buy the seeds if it is illegal to grow them ? Because he pointed out that classic question dealing with the egg and the chicken, he got a licence to grow cannabis in order to produce seeds. The mix between an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong love for everything that is connected to the plant was now in motion. By then, Ben Dronkers started to fight in favor of a new industrial use of hemp (cf. Number 12 and the article about the HempFlax company), but also to support both the medical and recreationnal use of cannabis. Thus, he founded Sensi Seeds in 1985 and opened the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam the same year.
The launch of the legendary “Jack Herer”.
Not long after that major event, Ben wanted to honor his mate because from now on, their relation was nothing but a strong friendship. There was only one way to do it properly : the point was to name a completely new variety and unique enough to carry the name of his buddy Jack Herer. In 2004 and after years of research, the “Jack Herer” was officially born in presence of the man himself and some prominent faces of the world of cannabis. It has been with pride and honnor that Sensi Seed noticed that the Jack Herer type of weed distinguished itself in the pot smoker community. Some part of Jack Herer him-self lives through this particular plant that helps, make people come together but inspire them, too.