CIA and Drugs

Last week, we had a lecturer in one of my political science classes, and while talking to us about Iraq, neo-colonialism, etc, he mentioned that the evidence was very strong that the CIA started introducing drugs into cities to weaken minorities. Now, the fact that this sounds about as likely as the moon landing “hoax”, combined with the fact that this guy very likely posted here under the username “Chumpsky”, given his political views, made me rather doubt the accuracy of this.

Today, I asked my teacher where it came from, and she seemed to agree with him that the evidence was credible (she’s somewhat more moderate, but that’s like saying “less conservative than Ayn Rand”, and she’s still pretty out there), and would present what was found out later.

I want to ask the people here, how much of this is actually somewhat at all mainstream, and how much is just plain delusional conspiracies? I know, for example, that some experiments were done with certain drugs by the CIA, but I rather doubt it extends this far.


IIRC, this stems from CIA involvement in the Vietnam war. They were recruiting rural tribes in what later became known as the “Golden Triangle” to fight the North Vietnamese.

I am not clear on the facts of the matter, and I can’t speak to the accuracy of the claims. But among the claims is that the CIA facilitated the distribution of (opium? marijuana?, whatever) to the United States as a payoff to the mercenary tribes. It was (supposedly) allowed because the belief was that these drugs would find their way into the black ghettos and not be a problem for mainstream white society.

I believe there is some evidence that the CIA did indeed provide some assistance with distribution. I’ve never heard any strong evidence as to motive, however, except as payment to the folks on the Asian end of the pipeline.

The CIA almost certainly tested drugs on American citizens, some of whom were unwitting participants. At least one suicide appears to be attributable to such practices.

I mention this because most of the CIA’s drug “experts” were involved in Project MKULTRA in the 1950s. Any distribution scheme in the US would almost certainly involve some of the same individuals even if the alleged distribution were not part of MKULTRA itself.

(Personally, I can see the CIA assisting in worldwide distribution as part of a larger effort to coddle anti-communist drug lords in SA Asia, but the idea that they directly distributed drugs within the US, with the intention of harming American citizens, seems very implausible to me.)