Segments in this Video

CIA Partnerships (11:50)


In 1960, the CIA worked with mafia-connected Cuban heroin traffickers to assassinate Fidel Castro during the Bay of Pigs invasion. When plans failed, CIA-trained Cuban soldiers went to Miami and began drug smuggling. By 1970, the number of heroin users in the United States had greatly increased.

Operation Midnight Climax (10:34)

The CIA worked to corner the market on LSD as a method of psychological warfare against the Soviet Union. George White performed experiments on civilians. The CIA used White's and other experiments to see if mind control was possible.

CIA in Laos (07:55)

In the 1960s, CIA agents led paramilitary groups against Communist forces. The CIA and its Laotian allies flew injured soldiers and opium out of Laos on Air America, a CIA-front airline.

Counterculture Movement (10:16)

The popularity of LSD spread after its introduction to the public and became associated with protest movements. The CIA opened a covert clinic to study the effects of LSD and test it for mind control properties.

Funding Through Heroin (05:44)

To fund covert operations in Laos, the CIA provided transport planes to heroin traffickers. Vang Pao became one of the largest heroin dealers in the world. Heroin was becoming popular with American soldiers in neighboring Vietnam.

Drug Business (07:59)

The demand for heroin in the United States increased as soldiers returned home from Vietnam. Heroin traffickers created a drug empire on the east coast. Billionaire financers of the counterculture’s LSD production used CIA-created banks to launder money through the Bahamas.

Nixon's Early Drug Policies (06:04)

President Nixon associated drugs with anti-war protesters and political opponents. He had all cars crossing the United States/Mexico border searched to cut down on marijuana trafficking. Operation Eagle arrested more than 100 drug smugglers.

Nixon's Political Enemies (05:06)

LSD advocates paid an anarchist group to break Timothy Leary out of prison. He fled to Algeria and connected with Black Panthers members.

Nixon's War on Drugs (08:31)

Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971. The war was used as an excuse to target counterculture and African-American groups. Police corruption hindered the work of narcotics units in big cities, like New York.

Rockefeller Drug Laws (04:36)

As the Watergate investigation began, the Nixon Administration's war on drugs lead to strict drug sentencing laws in New York. The crackdown led to huge numbers of minority criminals receiving long sentences.

Watergate Scandal (04:23)

As Nixon resigned, four key members of his war on drugs went to prison for their role in Watergate. Nixon's former prosecutor befriended a fellow inmate, who would become a founding member of the Medellin Cartel. Effects of the drug policies are still present in the criminal justice system.

Credits: Acid, Spies, & Secret Experiments (00:50)

Credits: Acid, Spies, & Secret Experiments

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Acid, Spies, & Secret Experiments

Part of the Series : America's War on Drugs
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The roots of America's War on Drugs reveals secret assassination attempts, the CIA's bizarre experiments with LSD and support of heroin traffickers, LSD parachuting from the sky, and how it led to a five decade war.

Length: 85 minutes

Item#: BVL160858

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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