What I Really Learned From Jack Herer


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Yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the passing of my friend, mentor and hero, Jack Herer. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars for having known him. Jack’s book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes is responsible for the recruitment of many activists, such as myself. It’s amazing how many people were directly affected by this larger than life man. Jack had a special energy of love and hope. He was a big bear of a man that loved people and loved his mission in a way that made you happy to jump on his band wagon. The first time I reached out to Jack, I had such reverence for him that the fact that he would even respond to me made made him remarkable in my book. As I got to know Jack, I learned that he was so grateful to have people spread his message, that he welcomed everyone with big, open arms.

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The first time I met Jack in person was as his guest at a High Times Film Festival event in Marina Del Rey.  I got there early, with butterflies in my stomach, waiting for this man who I figured wouldn’t give me the time of day but would probably be courteous enough to be polite.  I shared with a few other people who were standing around how nervous I was to meet Jack. They kind of chuckled at me and reassured me that Jack was easy going.

Jack Herer finally arrived. I noticed that he was pretty tall and had eyes that sparkled. I went up him and introduced myself and when I did, the weirdest thing happened. I looked into his eyes and felt this strong sense of familiarity. I remarked to him immediately, “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life.” He responded with an amazed look on his face, “me too.” From that point on, we were friends and Jack made it his personal mission to make sure that I met anyone he thought was important for me to meet as a new activist. I felt so comfortable with him and felt like we were destined to be in each other’s lives. This is when I knew I found my calling. I was home.

Jack involved me in many of his projects but I believe the Seattle Hempfest was his favorite. He regaled me with stories of the Hempfest and was eager for me to share the experience with him.  At that point in time, things were not comfortable with my business partner and I didn’t think she would understand my taking off to the Seattle Hempfest with Jack. Jack asked over and over again, if I would come to Seattle with him. I was torn between pissing off my partner or disappointing Jack. I kept saying to him, “I’ll join you next year, I promise.” But Jack wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

I ended up going to the 2010 Seattle Hempfest and let me tell you, it was AMAZING! Going to the Hempfest for the first time with Jack Herer is like walking through the Red Sea with Moses. He was the “reason for the season” and watching everyone pay homage to him was awesome. I had the time of my life watching him in action, signing books and talking, talking, talking. While I ended up coming down with an awful cold and being sick as a dog at the event, I can honestly say, I had the time of my life. I flew back home to L.A., exhausted and sick, but feeling so glad I didn’t miss it.

About a month later, Jack called me on the way to Portland’s Hempstalk and said he wished I could have come to that festival as well. I told him that I had a blast at the Seattle Hempfest and I looked forward to being at many more festivals with him. As we said our good-byes, he said “I love you.” I told him, “I love you back.” That was the last time we spoke. Jack Herer gave his last speech at the Portland Hempstalk where he suffered a massive heart attack. He was unconscious for about seven months and then passed away, April 15th, 2010. I was devastated.

In the short time I knew Jack Herer, I learned so much about hemp and activism. But what I really learned is that you cannot take tomorrow for granted. I really thought I had another year to get my act together to be good enough to hang with Jack. He, however, pushed me to dive in. Looking back, Jack treated me like learning everything he knew was urgent. What I learned is this: It was urgent!

The hemp movement is not the same without Jack Herer. It feels like the family is disjointed without it’s famous patriarch. Jack knew that I was passionate about honoring him with the most amazing hemp clothing line in the world and he treated me like he knew I would succeed. The fact that Jack had confidence in me, touched my heart. While I certainly have  not had a shortage of challenges with my business, the fact that I promised Jack I would get it done, drives me every single day.

Often times, I’ll put on Jack’s documentary,  The Emperor of Hemp, just to hear his voice. Those who know me well know that I love documentaries. This documentary, however, is extra special to me.

Check it out when you get a chance:

Even though my heart was broken when Jack Herer passed away, I am ever so grateful for the strong bond we created. I love you and miss you with all my heart, Jack Herer. I intend to make you very proud!

 

 

 

Drum Roll, Please


If you tuned in last week, you’ll know that Think Substance is going through rebranding. I  also promised I would reveal the new name today, so TADA…….Here it is: JAE JULIAN

Why JAE JULIAN? My daughter’s name is Sally Jae and my son’s name is Amos Julian. I basically took their middle names to create my new brand. Who knew how difficult a task it would be to come up with a new name?!  While it’s always nice to associate a brand with a person, I just couldn’t see Linda Werner or my maiden name Montellano  (which most people  mispronounce since the double L sounds like a Y) being a good brand name. JAE JULIAN however, sounded soft and fashion forward, just like my hemp.  Plus, this name received lots of positive feedback in our marketing research.

We are now hard at work developing a new logo, a new website and fresh new pieces to add to the line and I’m very excited about moving forward.

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Just How Good Is Our Luxury Hemp?

I’ve received so many amazing testimonials verbally about how good our products feel, that I think it would be great to start collecting some of these in writing.  So, if you’ve had a chance wear our products, it would be great to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

I ‘ll be keeping you posted on how the rebranding process is going here on my blog but it would be great if you would visit our temporary site and sign up so you can get a direct announcement when the site goes live.

In the meantime, here’s to  JAE JULIAN becoming a global brand!

Cheers!

Linda

What’s in a Name?


Sorry I’ve been off the radar for a while, but there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes, namely…….rebranding. OY!

What comes to mind when hear the word “substance?”

Do you think of a person of substance, or something positive? Or does your mind immediately go to drugs and substance abuse?

After much soul searching and even more research, it turns out that there is a dire need for rebranding my luxury hemp clothing line, Think Substance.  While the name’s purpose was meant to literally provoke thoughtful consumerism, it seems that I may have missed the mark. We decided that a softer, more fashion oriented name was more representative of the luxury hemp we are bringing to the market. So after months and months of going back and forth between several names, it looks like we finally made a decision. I’ll be announcing the new name next Friday.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some factors that went into this decision.

I found my father-in-law’s 1946 College Dictionary lying around the house so I decided to look up the word “substance.”  Here is a pic of what I found:

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Compare this to the modern definition posted below from  http://www.merriam-webster.com

sub·stance [suhb-stuhns]

noun

1.  that of which a thing consists; physical matter or material: form and substance.

2. a species of matter of definite chemical composition: a chalky substance.

3. controlled substance.

4. the subject matter of thought, discourse, study, etc.

5. the actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.

As you can see, controlled substance is now the third most popular definition of substance, but check out the date of origin for this word:

controlled substance

noun

any of a category of behavior-altering or addictive drugs, as heroinor cocaine, whose possession and use are restricted by law.

Origin: 
1970–75

The Nixon Connection

The Controlled Substances Act  was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on October 27, 1970. This is when the word “controlled substances” took root and it’s original meaning began to fade.

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It’s definitely a bummer that I will not be keeping the name that I’ve grown so accustomed to, but my team and I have decided that we don’t want to fight a negative perception right out the gate. Thanks a lot tricky Dick!

I hope you’ll check back in next Friday when I will announce the new name. While the Controlled Substances Act is kind of a sore subject, I thought I would bring some levity this situation with this Rodney Dangerfield clip. Enjoy!!!!!

MLK Day – A Day for Love


Martin Luther King is a shining example of the power of love.  This video honors him and reminds us of his message. So while it’s nice to have a day off in honor of him, I think it’s a great day to put his message into practice. Kindness, compassion, tolerance and love should be our goal today (and every day, actually), in every situation.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Buh-Bye 2013, Hellooooo 2014


Happy New Year

I wanted to thank each and every one of my readers for tuning into The Hemp Press in 2013. I’m blown away by the number of international readers, by the way. You guys are amazing for tuning in from all over the world like that!  Thank you so much for finding me and for being part of the hemp movement, a movement that I truly believe is destined to make a huge difference in the world.

If my gut feeling is correct, 2014 is the year when all the seeds that have been sewn these past years finally start to bear fruit. I look forward to sharing all the positive news that will be in store with the movement and my luxury hemp clothing line. I am happy to report that I have kept my nose to the grindstone this past year and I’m already seeing signs of that paying off. I’m hoping to be able to share official news by March regarding the new direction of Think Substance. I don’t want to jinx it, so you will have to wait for details.

I wish you, my dear readers, a healthy, peaceful, prosperous, exciting, fun, blessed, happy and amazing 2014  filled with lots of love and joy.

Thank you so much for the gift of your time, it has not gone unnoticed. I know that together, we can make a positive difference.

The very happiest of New Years to you and yours!

Cheers!

Your humble hempress,

Linda

Tennessee, Tennessee


So it looks like Tennessee is ready to jump on the “industrial hemp bandwagon.”

Senator Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Fields, wants to bring hemp back to Tennessee and is apparently drafting a bill.  The key to success, he said, is educating his lawmaker colleagues about the differences between industrial hemp and marijuana and the financial benefits to farmers. It troubles me to think that there are policy makers who are clueless about the difference between hemp and pot. If Senator Niceley does make the effort to educate his colleagues, let’s hope that these law makers are fast learners!

“Their biggest fear is that, if they support hemp, people will think they support marijuana,” Niceley said. “That’s a cousin of hemp, but cornbread is a cousin of moonshine.”

So that’s the logic for many of our politicians.  They protect their seats in office rather than our best interest. Hopefully, that will begin to change since thirty-one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and twenty have passed pro-hemp legislation. So that’s good news, right? But as Tom Murphy of the Hemp Industries Association always soberly reminds us, the battle is not over until the feds give the green light. The one benefit to states who have voted on and passed bills is that they will be the first out the gate with this new economy.

And by the way, I also wanted to share that every time I hear the word Tennessee,, I immediately think about this song from Arrested Development. Is that weird? That’s kind of why I put Tennessee twice in the title, because I was singing it in my head and was wondering if anyone would notice. It’s the lyrics of this song that I love most, though. Now that I’ve planted the thought, perhaps this tune will run through your mind every time you hear the word Tennessee!

So let’s welcome Tennessee to the bandwagon while as we enjoy this catchy tune.

History of Weed by Weeds


I’m a little bummed out that Washington state’s GMO labeling initiative lost yesterday as a result of being outfunded by 3:1 by it’s opponent. To show our gratitude to Dr. Bronners, I would highly recommend everyone buying their amazing soaps and lotion. This is a company that really puts its money where its mouth is. They are pretty remarkable!

I miss Showtimes’s Weeds. So, to cheer myself up, I thought I would spread some knowledge, via Weeds. This video is a pretty fun way to get acquainted with the history of hemp. Enjoy….and don’t forget to support the Bronners!