Best Activist - Best of Lawrence: 2013 - Community

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Thomas Trowler, better known as the "Honk for Hemp" guy, stands on the corner of 11th and Massachusetts Street Sunday afternoon.

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Thomas Trowler, better known as the "Honk for Hemp" guy, stands on the corner of 11th and Massachusetts Street Sunday afternoon.

If you’ve lived in Lawrence very long, you probably know someone who has been given the thumb.

Nearly every Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. and some Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can find what has become known as the Honk for Hemp guy at a downtown street corner.

Honk your horn in support of the legalization of marijuana, and the guy will flash you a handheld sign showing an upturned thumb. (Yes, he could just use his actual thumb, but this one is much larger.)

These days, the Honk for Hemp guy is Lawrence resident Thomas Trower, who credits longtime activist Mark Creamer with getting the project going in the early 1990s. Creamer got

lots of people’s attention in lots of ways, but in 1989 he got national attention for lighting up a marijuana joint in the lobby of the Lawrence Police Department building. But Creamer moved away from Lawrence about five years ago — to Colorado, where he can legally use marijuana for a medical condition.

That’s one of the issues the Honk for Hemp movement supports. But it also wants laws loosened that would allow marijuana to be grown for hemp production, and the group supports marijuana for recreational use, according to its website.

— Chad Lawhorn clawhorn@ljworld.com

Runners Up

  • Leslie Soden
  • Jeremy Farmer

Comments

slothy 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm amazed this man is being recognized as an activist. True activists call for action and change. The only action this man evokes is someone honking their horn. What has this man ever done that will lead to any lasting change? Is he organizing people? Does he have a proposal or plan of action? Or does he just stand on a corner and get honks because it makes him feel good? If that's the case, there's nothing wrong with it. But don't pretend this guy is effective by any stretch of the imagination. If anything, it's a hobby that he has committed hundreds of hours to over time, with no real lasting results. Once again, nothing wrong with that if it makes him feel good.

I have no problem with the Man's message, but what is being accomplished?

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2002 1 year, 1 month ago

Does anyone remember the graffiti painted on the northbound Iowa Street underpass at 6th street in the late 60's Kaw Hemp Pickers? I didn't do it, I was a pre-teen. Why did it stay there for so many years?

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