The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has always been depicted as a shadowy organization. All of its actions are top secret classified assignments, so it is only natural that it has been linked with various plots such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy. While the majority of these conspiracy theories are unfounded nonsense, every so often, a little nugget of truth is uncovered.
In the case of the CIA and marijuana, however, it is more like an entire warehouse of information is available! In fact, the link between our nation’s intelligence agencies and weed predates the 1947 formation of the CIA. Ever since then, the CIA has publicly decried marijuana, but in private, it has used cannabis for a wide range of purposes and even allegedly went as far as creating its own strain! If you’re in the mood to learn more about the CIA’s clandestine marijuana actions, we suggest that you light up a joint, sit back, and read on.
The CIA Used Weed as a ‘Truth Serum’
During World War II, the CIA’s predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), began to actively seek out drugs they could use to help interrogate POWs. The National Research Council was asked to look into the matter and formed a committee which included the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), Harry Anslinger. Anslinger was the architect of the awful Reefer Madness and clearly believed the nonsense spewed in his propaganda piece.
The FBN provided the OSS scientists with several drugs, and the team settled on an active chemical compound in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol acetate. While the OSS hoped that the weed compound would act as a ‘truth serum,’ it did nothing of the sort. It did, however, make prisoners high and distracted them to the point where interrogators were able to extract information on occasion.
An FBN and OSS operative named George White became a key part of the search for a reliable truth serum. In May 1943, the OSS and FBN tested the superpot on White which apparently knocked him senseless. One of the program’s goals was to find out which drug traffickers were helping the Nazis in France and which ones were part of the Resistance. White then tested his weed on a mobster named August Del Grazio.
According to the writer of ‘The Strength of the Wolf,’ Douglas Valentine, the weed worked incredibly well as Del Grazio revealed a remarkable amount of information about the drug trade. Valentine claims the details were so extraordinary that the OSS redacted them from documents before their release decades later. After that, the OSS used the superpot on Nazi POWs, and then continued using the drug on humans until at least 1947. Eventually, though, it was determined that pot was not a reliable truth serum.
The CIA Allegedly Helped Smuggle Marijuana into the United States in the Late 1970s
This allegation was made by Gary Webb, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who once described the CIA as the ‘Cocaine Importing Agency.’ While it has often been suggested that the CIA aided and abetted cocaine smugglers in the 1980s, less is mentioned about weed importation in the late 1970s.
According to Webb, the CIA was heavily involved with the Mike Palmer drug ring in Detroit, which was flying in tons of weed in C-130s in 1977 and 1978. When Palmer was caught and arrested in Colombia, either in 1979 or 1980, he was recruited as a pilot for the Contras. While working for the CIA, Palmer continued smuggling marijuana for the Contras in what the federal prosecutor of Detroit called the ‘biggest marijuana ring’ in the United States.
Then, in 1988, Palmer told the Senate that his firm had a contract with the State Department to fly clothes to the Contras in Nicaragua back in 1986, when he was working undercover as a drug smuggler for the DEA and United States Customs Service. He denied being a CIA agent, but did admit to smuggling around $40 million worth of weed from South America into the U.S. over an eight-year period.
The CIA Created ‘Fake’ Weed
In the 1970s, the CIA embarked on a drug abuse program that toured the United States. The only problem was the weed they used in their ‘drug abuse booth’ was fake – not only did the booth give off the smell of marijuana, but it also had an alleged bag of pot that people could smell. In reality, this pseudo-cannabis was developed by CIA doctors.
The reason was simple: The CIA was told that it couldn’t transport real marijuana across state lines when it tried to bring the display to a convention of the American Medical Association. As a result, they created the fake weed which looked and smelled like the real thing; you could even burn it.
And on a side note, we must also report that the weed grown by the federal government for research is nothing like the real thing; it doesn’t look, feel or smell like cannabis which means it is all but useless for scientific research.
Did the CIA Help the Government Grow G-13?
No one knows the true origins of the cannabis strain G-13, which is almost as shrouded in mystery as the CIA itself. Some people say that the rare Afghani indica supposedly originated in the 1970s after being liberated from a government research facility in the University of Mississippi. Other accounts suggest that along with the FBI and other agencies, the CIA helped gather the best strains of marijuana from breeders all over the planet with a view to creating a ‘super’ strain.
We have our doubts over whether this is true, but one thing is for sure; it is practically impossible to get your hands on ‘pure’ G-13. The strains available today are not the original.
Final Thoughts on the CIA & Cannabis
One has to be careful when saying anything negative about the CIA. After all, it is a powerful government agency with immense reach. Nonetheless, it should not be allowed to commit certain deeds without being placed under the microscope – or at lease as much under the microscope as is possible with a secret government agency.
The fact of the matter though is that the CIA’s marijuana-related history is fascinating; from using a weed-based compound to extract information from prisoners and criminals, to apparently helping to smuggle it into the country illegally. Add in its faux-cannabis and its alleged hand in creating a legitimate strain, and the CIA’s involvement in the cannabis industry is extensive – even if it doesn’t want you to know about it!