Apart from the possibility that the excessive utilisation of for sure drugs tin brand the user paranoid, illicit drugs conduct hold been at the pump of a number of conspiracy theories over the yesteryear century. One cluster of conspiracy theories surrounds the utilisation of opiates, together with some other focuses on marijuana.
Opiates—opium, morphine, together with heroin—have figured largely inward drug conspiracies. One of the earliest conspiracy theories surrounding opiates inward the U.S. concerned Chinese immigrants on the West Coast. When Chinese immigrants began arriving inward the U.S. to a greater extent than or less 1870, their habit of smoking opium drew condemnation.
Chinese laborers, derogatorily called “coolies,” were essential to the completion of the showtime transcontinental railroad, but when economical depression beset the reason inward the belatedly nineteenth century, white fears of task competition, combined amongst Chinese opium smoking, led to repression of the Chinese population.
Nativism, xenophobia, together with the conviction that opium smoking posed a threat to U.S. club helped Pb to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigration to the United States. Other repression came inward the shape of local together with province laws that targeted Chinese Americans, equally good equally harassment yesteryear native-born whites, especially on the West Coast. In 1875 a San Francisco City ordinance banned opium smoking.
Stories of Chinese immigrants who lured white females into prostitution, along amongst media depictions of the Chinese equally depraved together with unclean, bolstered the enactment of anti-opium laws inward xi states betwixt 1877 together with 1900. On the federal level, inward 1909 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Opium Exclusion Act, which forbade the importation of smoking opium.
Although no fully formed conspiracy theory emerged amidst anti-opium advocates, yesteryear the plow of the century the association betwixt Chinese immigrants, opium, together with societal decay illustrated the widespread belief that opium smoking (or the consumption of whatever psychoactive centre for nonmedical purposes) threatened to erode the Anglo-Saxon race’s might to propagate itself. Put some other way, during the Social Darwinist–infused days of the belatedly nineteenth together with early on twentieth centuries, drug addiction amidst white Americans was idea to termination inward racial suicide.
More delineated conspiracy theories concerning opiates materialized during together with afterward World War II. Propagating numerous drug conspiracies was Harry J. Anslinger, who served equally commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) from 1930 to 1962. Anslinger had an imposing physical appearance: somber-faced, bald, thick-chested, together with square-jawed, he resembled a cross betwixt Benito Mussolini together with the infamous British satanist Aleister Crowley (Sloman, xi).
As caput of the FBN, Anslinger dominated U.S. drug policy for 30 years, during which fourth dimension he maintained the link betwixt foreigners together with drugs, brought a high degree of bureaucratic monastic tell to federal drug policy, embarked upon a effort to demonize together with limit marijuana, melded antinarcotics policy amongst U.S. unusual policy together with safety issues, together with sought repressive measures to bargain amongst addicts together with dealers.
During World War II Anslinger charged the Japanese amongst conspiring to spread narcotics addiction throughout the West, remarking that a drugsodden patch could offering petty resistance to an invading Japanese military.
The Japanese were flooding Communist People's Republic of China amongst narcotics during the state of war but no prove corroborated their supposed programme to foment addiction inward the United States. Similarly, inward the early on mutual frigidness state of war years, Anslinger unrelentingly maintained that heroin addiction was role of Communist China’s programme for subversion inward the United States.
Lacking whatever proof of such a conspiracy, Anslinger withal fostered stories together with images of syringe-wielding Chinese soldiers poised to conduct hold over the gratis world together with outlined the details of the Chinese Communist Party’s heroin conspiracy inward his 1953 majority The Traffic inward Narcotics.
Anslinger’s conspiracy theories demonstrated the link betwixt federal drug policy together with national safety issues, which is to say that the FBN’s claims were inward line amongst America’s anticommunist mission inward Asia. The commissioner never recanted his accusations together with his claims persisted into the 1970s.
In a reversal of Anslinger’s claims, 2 other drug conspiracies emerged during the mutual frigidness war, which charged the U.S. government, non unusual nations, amongst spreading narcotics addiction together with using drugs for undemocratic purposes.
One conspiracy theory defendant the CIA, from the 1950s through the 1980s, of willingly allying itself amongst narcotics (opium, morphine, together with heroin) traffickers inward Burma, Thailand, Laos, Afghanistan, together with Islamic Republic of Pakistan equally role of the agency’s anticommunist crusade inward Asia.
By supplying these unsavory elements amongst funds, equipment, together with intelligence, the CIA provided a zone of protection to a greater extent than or less drug lords together with blocked investigations of their clients’ drug running. Ultimately, the CIA contributed to the global narcotics merchandise yesteryear sanctioning their allies’ involvement.
Researchers, such equally Alfred W. McCoy, conduct hold unearthed prove corroborating the link betwixt the CIA together with narcotics traffickers inward Asia but deny the existence of a full-blown conspiracy inward which the CIA intended to foster trafficking together with addiction internationally, including Europe together with the United States.
Rather, the CIA’s short-term destination of using narcotics traffickers equally self-sustaining paramilitary forces during the mutual frigidness state of war blinded the way from foreseeing the long-term increase inward the region’s drug merchandise afterward the U.S. authorities no longer needed its clients’ services. In essence, the CIA, narrowly focused on anticommunism, deemed its clients’ expanded drug trafficking abilities equally entirely “fallout” from overriding mutual frigidness state of war concerns.
For instance, when narcotics produced yesteryear CIA allies supplied U.S. addicts—as inward the instance of U.S. soldiers inward Vietnam using heroin trafficked yesteryear South Vietnamese, Laotian, together with Thai officials—the CIA, jump yesteryear law to provide intelligence on drug trafficking, illegally prevented investigations of Southeast Asian officials. Damning facts such equally these conduct hold lent the air of conspiracy to the CIA’s human relationship to the international drug trade.
Another drug conspiracy leveled at the U.S. authorities involved the Nixon administration’s drug policy together with the White House’s reorganization of federal drug enforcement agencies. In the early on 1970s President Nixon launched his “war on drugs” inward response to a burgeoning heroin epidemic inward the United States.
Like Harry J. Anslinger, Nixon cast blame on unusual nations for America’s addiction problem. Nixon favored the utilisation of federal drug command agencies equally the response to the country’s supposedly growing rates of drug abuse.
Part of Nixon’s solution entailed the creation of the Office of National Narcotics Intelligence (ONNI), Office for Drug Abuse together with Law Enforcement (ODALE), together with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which replaced the Bureau of Narcotics together with Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), the FBN’s successor agency. The executive branch oversaw these agencies together with critics defendant the president of using them for purposes non related to drug control.
Specifically, skeptics argued that Nixon manufactured a drug scare that distracted the U.S. populace together with Congress together with allowed the direction to practise White House– controlled federal agencies that were used for surveillance together with harassment of political enemies, non apprehending drug dealers.
Critics charged ODALE together with ONNI equally beingness petty to a greater extent than than a White House soul constabulary force. ODALE, housed inward the Justice Department, was authorized to comport no-knock search warrants together with warrantless raids, equally good equally to utilisation court-ordered wiretaps. Such an way had the capacity to human activeness higher upwards the law together with did on occasions. Indeed, telephone substitution figures inward the Watergate scandal—G. Gordon Liddy, Egil Krogh, E. Howard Hunt, together with Lucein Conein— were all involved inward federal drug command agencies.
Liddy developed the creation of ODALE. Conein, a CIA agent, evidently developed a special assassination force—ostensibly aimed at major drug traffickers—within the DEA afterward that organization’s creation inward mid-1973. Krogh served equally deputy assistant for the president for law enforcement together with helped gear upwards the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP), which established federal methadone clinics.
Interestingly, the federal methadone clinics—aimed at helping heroin addicts— drew criticism from African Americans equally a ploy to maintain inner-city populations addicted to difficult drugs. In the end, the Plumbers, drawn from the Nixon administration’s drug command apparatus, together with the resulting Watergate scandal derailed Nixon’s cry for for unchecked executive power.
Like the opiates, conspiracy theories formed to a greater extent than or less marijuana, a drug outlawed inward 1937 yesteryear the Marijuana Tax Act. Similar to the Chinese immigrants’ negative association amongst opium smoking, marijuana was linked to some other stereotyped immigrant group, Mexicans.
During the showtime few decades of the 1900s local together with province restrictions on marijuana, especially inward the West together with Southwest, were established equally the drug was purported to get smokers to commit crimes. Tales of stoned Mexicans who craved violence together with were immune to hurting were common. Throughout the showtime one-half of the 1930s Anslinger resisted calls for federal legislation banning marijuana, believing that the states could best command the matter.
But yesteryear 1936 Anslinger reversed course of report together with embarked on a effort inward which he showtime stated that he had underestimated the marijuana threat together with and therefore proceeded to describe the weed equally worse than heroin, together with the harbinger of decease together with discord. Drug policy scholars conduct hold attributed Anslinger’s turnaround to his sharp concern for bureaucratic survival—he used the marijuana number to justify his together with the FBN’s existence.
According to this line of thinking, Anslinger did non practise a marijuana scare; he joined ane already inward progress together with bolstered it to best of his might amongst lurid testimony at congressional hearings together with inward paper together with magazine articles. Anslinger’s article “Marijuana: Assassin of Youth,” which appeared inward the July 1937 edition of American Magazine, was a prime number illustration of FBN antimarijuana propaganda.
The article, equally did well-nigh of Anslinger’s marijuana horror stories together with other sensationalized accounts similar the Hollywood celluloid Reefer Madness, involved American youths together with linked the drug amongst serious crimes (such equally murder, rape, together with mutilation), insanity, promiscuity, together with full general immorality.
For Anslinger, the consequences of inhaling the killer weed ranged from patricide together with fratricide—as the commissioner oftentimes recounted inward the instance of a Florida youth—to the possibility that a user would plow into a “philosopher, a joyous reveler inward a musical heaven,” a contestation that linked marijuana together with jazz music (Anslinger 1937, 150). The outcome of all the scare tactics together with misinformation was the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, which initially curtailed hemp production, but ultimately served equally the footing for criminalizing marijuana users.
Countering Anslinger’s persuasion of marijuana equally a generator of offense together with decease is the conspiracy theory best articulated yesteryear Jack Herer inward Hemp together with the Marijuana Conspiracy: The Emperor Wears No Clothes. According to Herer, bureaucratic survival was non at the pump of Anslinger’s antimarijuana campaign. Rather, Anslinger’s role inward demonizing marijuana stemmed from his participation inward a concerted essay yesteryear powerful economical interests to postage out contest from the hemp industry.
Specifically, Anslinger, the E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont), work organisation magnate Andrew Mellon, together with the media giant William Randolph Hearst worked paw inward paw to forestall a growing hemp manufacture from offering cellulosebased products, such equally paper (and potentially textiles together with plastics), from competing amongst DuPont’s products. By the 1930s DuPont had developed patents for producing paper from woods pulp together with likewise had plans to brand plastics from fossil oil products.
Andrew W. Mellon, secretarial assistant of the treasury together with possessor of the Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh, which was ane of entirely 2 banks DuPont dealt with, appointed his time to come son-in-law to caput upwards the newly created FBN inward Dec 1930. Anslinger’s solar daytime of the month to the FBN, housed inward the Treasury Department, tied him to Mellon’s together with DuPont’s fiscal interests, which included stunting a hemp manufacture that had grown over the 1920s together with 1930s.
The Hearst paper syndicate, the nation’s largest, was likewise tied economically to the woodpaper industry. Moreover, Hearst, known for his disdain of jazz music, Mexicans, together with African Americans, readily published antimarijuana tracts that seat his newspapers inward line amongst the federal government.
Ultimately, all of these actors constituted a conspiracy orchestrated to brand hemp illegal. According to this theory, the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, far from outlawing a supposedly murderous drug, was inward fact legislation designed to farther DuPont’s fiscal fortune.