Continuing in the tradition of the great folk artists and writers before him, Human sings the songs of the American heart and soul. Backed by The Human Revolution, an impressive rotating cast of master musicians, Human has been leading the way for politically, socially, and ecologically charged performers and songwriters for almost a decade.
Where did you grow up?
In the Eastern United States between Upstate NY and Middle Tennessee with a lot of time in the middle.
Where do you live?
Currently residing somewhere between Mendocino, CA, Ashland, OR, Maui and Costa Rica. I am pretty much on tour full time these days, but I am really resonating with Ashland, OR most recently.
What keeps you busy these days?
My time is pretty much devoted to activism through art and music and helping other artists with a similar mission reach a larger audience. When I find the time I also enjoy gardening, bodysurfing, sleeping on the beach and being in nature.
What is your personal relationship with cannabis?
I’ve been using cannabis medicinally since 1998. Although medicating illegally at first (Ohio still doesn’t recognize the medical value of cannabis), I got my first true medical prescription while living in California in 2003. Cannabis helps me not only with my physical ailments, which most recently includes an unfortunate bout with some serious intestinal issues (stay away from antibiotics, or if you ABSOLUTELY must take em, don’t forget to ABSOLUTELY take a healthy dose of probiotics as well!) and also stress-related muscle tension, but it also helps me mentally and spiritually. It helps me relax and makes me a more compassionate and overall healthy human.
My only professional affiliation with Cannabis is as a musician. One of my number one jobs as a folk musician is to spread conscious information and to help bring about positive change through music. The conscious legalization of cannabis, the cultivation and implementation of hemp on a large scale, and increasing availability to medical grade cannabis to patients in need are major goals of mine. My music video “Tree of Life” which my friend and I shot and edited in one day as a fun project has made waves throughout the internet. The song was meant to educate those about the truth of the usefulness of cannabis and also to be a rallying point for activists already working to make change. We won the AMMA (American Marijuana Music Awards) Video of the year category in 2008, and the video has been seen by over 300,000 people exclusively online, we must be doing something right.
What got you interested in becoming an advocate for cannabis?
When I was 15 I tried it for the first time. I didn’t get high (I don’t think I even knew how to inhale, I’d never smoked a cigarette before). But I did watch all of my friends having fun and all that and realized that it couldn’t be that bad. I tried it again, this time I definitely got high and heard the Grateful Dead on the stereo. I didn’t like them before, but after an hour of pure bliss and happiness, they became my favorite band. The first time I got to experience the internet on my own, without my parents in the room, the first thing I looked up was Marijuana, and the first website I remember seeing was the national NORML website. I wanted to know my rights, I wanted to know the law, and I wanted to know the truth, not just what people were telling me. It didn’t take long before I was online researching pretty constantly in my free time. I read all the news articles on the Media Awareness Project Site and enjoyed listening to Callum Francis and High on the Air while I myself was very high on the medicine. One particular night I came home late from a party and smoked some cannabis while everyone in the house was sleeping, this was one of my favorite times of the day. I really enjoyed Raisin Bran with milk as my midnight snack and as I was in the pantry wandering around, I caught the ingredients list on the Raisin Bran. I was shocked to realize I didn’t know what the heck half of the things were! I started researching and found that there was a lot of chemicals in a lot of mainstream food that were of un natural origins, and I decided then and there to start researching my food better by reading the ingredients and giving up anything that wasn’t completely natural, after all, nature does provide us with all we truly need. So I started eating healthier and suddenly I had more energy, which lead to me starting to work out more.
That summer I lost 60 lbs of unnecessary body fat and started on a whole new life path, and I attribute it all to cannabis, which slowed me down enough to stop and investigate what I was putting into my body. We are what we eat right? Anyway, I went to college and started the first Kent State university NORML group. It didn’t last long as a full on organization, but our weekly meetings did manifest into two consecutive Million Marijuana Marches. I became well known as a cannabis activist on campus getting quite a bit of press in the campus newspaper, including one front page picture of myself “in full marijuana regalia” protesting the recent drug busts on campus. I got to know the local police chief and was shocked to hear that he opposed marijuana because he equated marijuana smoking with hippies throwing rocks at soldiers coming back from Vietnam, which, while having absolutely nothing to do with seriously ill people using medical cannabis, is pretty much known to have been nothing more than media spin in the first place. So I kept on protesting and organizing. I helped bring a major campus cannabis debate called “Heads Vs. Feds” to the college in which Steve Hager the editor of High Times debated a former DEA agent. They both however agreed in the end that cannabis prohibition was a failure. It sold out the schools theatre with over 1500 people attending. Not long after I felt the heat of September 11’th rising from the local police and decided it was time to high tail it out of town. I continued to work with the Ohio Patients Network, a group of chronically ill cannabis users, most of whom were being targeted by local law enforcement for growing their medicine. We stuffed mailboxes at Congressional offices and did everything we could to get someone to give us a chance. They are still fighting that cause.
How have you matured in your evolution as an advocate that makes you smile inside?
I left Ohio and moved to California and for the first time in my life I smoked a joint without fear of having my license revoked or being arrested. It was the most freeing feeling in my life at that point. I know dedicate my time as a musician and entertainer passing out edible Canadian hemp seeds at our shows when available. It’s actually a trip to be on the radio shows I once listened to and see my name on the bill for the Seattle Hempfest, a festival I used to dream of simply attending. I’ve even gotten to pass the peace pipe with both Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson, two of my longtime cannabis heroes. I definitely smile a lot more these days.
Who/what continues to inspire you in being an advocate for legalization?
I continue to work towards legalization because the federal government has not yet repealed the unjust prohibition on cannabis which is not only good medicine when smoked, vaporized or eaten, but makes a higher quality of paper, rope, fabric, plastic and nutritional oil than any other plant on the planet.
If the federal government/corporate world came to you requesting a blueprint on legalization of cannabis, what would your plan look like. In this scenario you are the Cannabis Czar with complete authority in all arenas.
Economics: Grow it, sell it, tax it, use the taxes to support education and healthcare, and enjoy it.
Medicine: Available for any adult to use it responsibly, no need for a prescription, it’s a freakin plant… like clover. Children could potentially benefit from the medicinal preparations as well I believe, but they’d have to research it more to find out if it truly is or isn’t harming the children before I’d make it available to everyone.
Social Policy: Personally, I make Tobacco and Cannabis follow the same suit, don’t smoke within reasonable range of someone who has not given express permission to consent to your second hand smoke.
Others: Mandate Hemp Farming on barren and nutrient depleted lands to replenish the earth and release the monoturpines (the only chemical known to reverse global warming, found in highest concentration in the cannabis plant) into the air.
What do you think is truly keeping cannabis from being fully legalized in your state and the nation? How can we bridge this challenge?
Mostly greed, but also ignorance and lack of real education. Also the people’s fear of being arrested or publically shunned for coming out with the truth. I’d say we need to have a national forum and a truly unbiased national committee review the case of cannabis in America. Anyone who is truly unbiased will see the truth, it is plain as day!
How are the current steps working? Why are some of them possibly outdated or not working?
I’m not sure I see anything not working, except that I think people need to stand up more and get more vocal and organized, especially in states where cannabis is still 100% illegal.
What steps would you like to see taken to strengthen the current movement?
The range of this could be to re-enforce current methods or bring in new approaches.
Read last response
What do you want someone reading this interview to do to help the cause?
Stand up and realize that you are not alone and most people realize the truth just like you they are just afraid to be the one to stand up and say it.
What is your favorite cannabis product? Why?
I really like sprouted (unhulled) hemp seeds. I had the opportunity to have some once and it was truly natures perfect food.
What’s your favorite TBG products?
Hmmm…. I guess I like the travel Mug, because I like useful objects and I am always on the go, the tote bag for the same reason, and the magnet because who couldn’t use another cool magnet!
What do you like about The Bong Girl?
What’s NOT to like! She’s sexy and she advocates cannabis legalization! The design is pretty sweet too J
How can The Bong Girl assist you in your advocacy?
Help spread the word and spread the music! www.thehumanrevolution.org! Check out our music and our videos!
How would you like our readers to contact you?
Contact me through our website at www.thehumanrevolution.org! Check out our music and lemme know what ya think! You can also become a fan and leave a message on our The Human Revolution fan page on Facebook.