5 Facts About How Cannabis Was Used in World War I

World War I began in 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and ended in 1918 when the Allied Powers claimed victory. The war was fought between the Central Powers, which consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire, and the Allied Powers, which included Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan, and the United States. The First World War saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction with more than 16 million deaths. In order to fight this long war, the military, navy, and air force required unlimited resources, which included cannabis.

Even during the most difficult time like World War I, cannabis was used all across the world. First, for many years cannabis wasn’t used as a drug, but this changed during the war as Mexican immigrants flooded the United States. The Mexicans brought cannabis with them, which they used as a psychoactive drug that they introduced into American culture. The United States quickly feared the effects of marijuana, but many continued to use the plant for other purposes during the war. Hemp fiber was crucial to produce strong military equipment, like marine cordage, parachutes, and other necessities needed for war across the world, so the plant was utilized for more than just its psychoactive properties.


Lots of people enjoy unwinding with a joint after a hard day's work, but for Perry Farrell, getting high is just another part of his job as a rock singer. The frontman of the alternative rock group Jane's Addiction likens the role of the musician to a shaman, whose job is to explore altered states of consciousness. "When you're going out there [onstage] as a shaman - as a witch doctor, you need to step into the fifth dimension," Farrell told Pitchfork in the latest edition of their 'Over/Under' series.

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