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Page 9: Cannabis, Napoleon and the War of 1812.

For centuries, Russia was the world's largest producer of quality cannabis textiles. Despite Canada's growing number of cannabis farms and mills, in the early 1800s Britain's powerful navy was still dependent on Russian-made cannabis rope and sails.

In response to Napoleon's rising power in France, Britain blockaded Europe with its superior navy, cutting the whole Continent off from Atlantic trade in 1806 by controlling the English Channel and the Straits of Gibraltar.

Unable to win at sea, Napoleon tried to beat Britain's navy by banning all European trade with Britain, and pressured Russia to cut off Britain's cannabis fibre supply and isolate them economically.

To get around the trade ban, Britain began capturing American ships, forcing them to buy Russian hemp rigging and deliver it to England.

After a few years, Russia stopped abiding by the embargo because the cannabis industry was too important to its economy. To beat Britain's navy, Napoleon needed to stop them from getting cannabis sails and ropes, so he launched his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812.

America's navy was built on domestically grown cannabis hemp, processed by slave labour. Annoyed by Britain's blockade of Europe and seeing an opportunity to expand its territory, the United States declared war on Britain and tried to invade Canada in 1812, which was still scaling up cannabis production to meet British demand.



• Russian-made cannabis rope and sails
Book: In Nelson's Wake: The Navy and the Napoleonic Wars, by James Davey, p.250, Yale University Press, 2016

• Russian-made cannabis rope and sails
Article: The Treaty of Tilsit: Russia, France, England and the Hemp Plant, by Jeff Meints, 2013

• forcing them to buy Russian hemp
Book: America, Russia, Hemp and Napoleon, by Alfred Crosby Jr., Ohio State University Press, 1965