Jerome Baker, whose real name is Jason Harris, was arrested in 2003 as part of Operation Pipe Dreams, a federal operation targeting people buying and selling cannabis paraphernalia.
“Operation Pipe Dreams was part of my path to get me where I am today,” said Jerome Baker. “I was manufacturing water pipes for many years in Eugene, Oregon. 70 employees, doing 4 million a year in sales in the late 90s, early 2000s.”
He got busted alongside legend Tommy Chong, as well as 55 other people.
“It was like using the justice system to make a political statement. I got caught up in it.”
Overall, however, the experience gave him street cred in the bong scene. “I did the time for the plant, and for those laws that are still among us right now.”
Baker says Jerome Baker Designs’ mission to bring “light and awareness” to the movement for legal cannabis.
“So we can all be a little more free.”
Jerome Baker constantly reiterates that glassblowing is no crime and pushes to legalize cannabis and “give it the respect that it is due.”
Making glass bongs is where the magic is at for Jerome Baker. “People see the one piece that we make, and then it gets sold, and that’s it. We can’t replicate it like a painter can replicate paintings or a sculptor can make bronze additions.”Most glass pieces are one of ones.
That each glass piece is unique helped Jerome Baker to feature the glass on social media and grow the brand. It’s sparked a new interest in glassblowing, Baker says.
“Since I started making glass, tens of thousands glass blowers have started making glass, as well. It’s like guitars or a new art form. It’s like the street artists, too.”
One of Baker’s favorite things to do is work with local artists and bring people together. Glassblowing, he says, is in every city, state, and country.
“We’re going to have some fun as legalization unfolds, and you have places like Mississippi, Virginia, Florida and other places popping up on the map,” says Baker. “Everybody’s scrambling to get into position for what’s unfolding in front of our eyes: who are the experts with respect for the plant, and how it all unfolds?”
Baker’s biggest dream? Taking cannabis legalization global and ushering a “more mellow and creative society.”
He adds: “We are going global, bringing it to Germany, Holland, the Middle East, and Russia— that’s our next target. We’re going to mellow out the world and make everyone free thinkers. Cannabis inspires creativity, inspires change and thinking about what’s going on around you. When we go on a global level with cannabis, we change everything. It’s a sacred business.”