Research Topics


The US anti-drug policy that began in 1909 and escalated into a full blown war in the 1980s and 1990s transformed substances previously marketed as healing products by the world’s oldest pharmaceutical companies into the greatest threat to national security since communism.  US drug policy was officially labeled a war during the Nixon administration, however, it was the $7.8 billion federal anti-drug plan and the National Drug Control Strategy Implementation Act passed during George Bush’s administration that made the war the center of major domestic and foreign policy decisions.  The war outlined by the Bush administration called for a 3-tierd attack on drugs that consisted of crop eradication programs to eliminate drugs at their source, interdiction efforts to prevent drugs from entering into the country, and harsh penalties domestically for users and small scale pushers.  The war on drugs has intensified with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations with increased federal spending on interdiction, law enforcement, and crop eradication efforts and legislation that increases penalties for users and small scale pushers.  This research topic is devoted to understanding the multidimensional aspects of the drug war.  Current subtopics are crop eradication programs and Plan Columbia, CIA involvement in narco-trafficking, domestic legislation and their impact, and drug policy reform.


The American Friends and Service Committee is an organization established on the Quaker principles of justice, equality, and non-violence. The committee sponsors social justice and peace programs worldwide. The AFSC has been involved in Columbia and the Andean Region since the enactment of Plan Columbia and they provide on their website a long list of educational resources and first person testimonials on the eradication efforts called for in the plan and its impact on the communities of Columbia.

The National Security Archives, a nonprofit organization working to make declassified Government documents available to the public, released a detailed in-depth report on US counterinsurgency and defoliation operations in Columbia. The report is a part of the National Security Archives’ Columbia Documentation Project, a project dedicated to declassifying Government documents related to US involvement in Colombia.



Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and CIA in Central America University of California Press: Berkley, L.A., and London 1991

Alfred McCoy The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade Lawrence Hill Books: Chicago, IL 1972

Gary Webb Dark Alliance: the CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion Seven Stories Press: New York 1999

Peter Dale Scott. Drugs, Oil, and War. Rowan and Littlefield Publishers: Oxford. 2003.

Terry Reed, John Cummings. Compromised: Clinton, Bush, and the CIA. S.P.I. Books/ Shapolsky Publishers: NY. 1994.

Carl A. Trocke. Opium, Empire, and the Global Political Economy. Rutledge Publishers: UK. 1999.

Michael Levine. The Big White Lie: CIA and crack/cocaine epidemic: an undercover odyssey. Thunder’s Mouth Press: NY. 1993.

William Leary. Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA covert operations in Asia. University of Alabama Press: Alabama. 1984.

Alexander Cockburn and Jefferey St. Claire. Whiteout: CIA, drugs, and the press. Verso: London, NY. 1998.

Chirstopher Robbins. Air America. New York: G.P. Putnam. 1979.

Thomas McCan. An American Company: The Tragedy of United Fruit. New York: Crown Publishers. 1976.

Douglas Valentine. The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs. Verso: London, NY. 2004.

When Gary Webb 1st published his 7 part series “Dark Alliance” that connected the contras to the crack-cocaine epidemic he created a webpage detailing his sources so that readers could determine for themselves the validity of the story. Gary Webb’s webpage has been restored by narconews and the original research from which Dark Alliance was composed is once again available.

The narco-news bulletin is a web-based newspaper that aims to educate the North American populace on the harmful effects of the war on drugs on the south through publication of reports of the drug war from the Mexican and Latin American press. Narconews covers in detail the numerous interactions of Luis Posada Carriles, a CIA trained and protected narcotrafficker involved in the bay of pigs invasion and the contra resupply effort, with law enforcement officials in Latin America.

The Clinton Body Count is a list of over 85 individuals who died under suspicious circumstances and were connected to various scandals of the Clinton family. The Clinton Body Count 1st appeared as a list of 25 names and exploded into an internet phenomenon of web pages devoted to accurately chronicling those who died. The Clinton Body Count is popularly described as an ‘Urban Legend’ and has not been verified by a credible independent investigation, however, it is included because many of those included on the list are verifiably related to Mena, AK, a well recorded center of operation for a CIA organized arms and drug pipeline. This version of the Clinton Body Count is published by Prevent Truth Decay, an alternative web based news publication.

The Association for the Study of the Geopolitics of Drugs is a French organization that grew out of the Geopolitical Drug Watch and carries on its mission of publishing information on the major players and trends of the illicit drug trade and strategies used to further develop the drug economy. The AEGD corresponds with journalists internationally and produces high-quality, valuable information on the structure of the drug industry. Much of the information produced implicates Government officials and agency in the establishment and perpetuation of the large-scale international drug trade.

A report published in 1998 by the Inspector General of the CIA on the results of an investigation into allegations of the connection between the CIA and the contras in cocaine trafficking into the U.S. The report validates the thesis of the many scholars that the CIA helped organize cocaine pipelines into the U.S. during the contra war effort.

The Senator John Kerry Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations report on its investigation into CIA involvement in narcotrafficking. The report documents the fusion of covert supply lines organized by the CIA with the cocaine trade, CIA protection and employment of drug kingpins, and a massive money laundering operation arranged by CIA and Government officials. The report is a resource relied on heavily by Peter Dale Scott and Gary Webb to support their theses.


Clarence Lusane. Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs. South End Press: Boston, MA. 1991.

War on Drugs: Legislation in the 108th Congress and Current National Developments. 2003. html

FY 2006 budget summaries of each government department supporting the war on drugs. An explanation of the role each department plays in the drug war is also provided.

The Real Cost of Prison Project is a research and popular education project that is working to provide information to expose the prison-industrial complex and aid in the effort of prison justice activists to reform the system. The website offers an excellent resource of information on the number of incarcerated drug offenders, tax-payer cost of imprisonment, racial profiling and the resulting ethnicity of drug offenders, and the impact of the war on drugs on families and communities.


“An anti-prohibition article” by Ethan Nadelmann.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) is an organization composed of former and current law enforcement officials devoted to reducing the harmful consequences of the drug war by ending drug prohibition. END Prohibition Now is a presentation that has been given by Jack Cole, the Executive Director of LEAP, over 300 times to town coucils and police departments. It is an excellent resource on the failure of the drug war. End Prohibition Now has a supporting document with additional information.

Efficacy is a CT based non-profit organization devoted to peaceful solutions to social problems. It currently is involved in a campaign to reform drug policy so that it is based on a harm reduction model that stress human rights and compassion for dealing with problems of addiction. The website provides a variety of information on harm reduction and drug policy reform.