Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The CIA Experiments with a Marijuana-Based Solution

Note: on [...] and the writer on January 30 and 31. To be associated with the memorandum proposed by him on the same subject.

The material, a liquid acetate preparation of Cannabis Indicia (marijuana or hashish), has been known as TD (Truth Drug). It is prepared by [...] chemists only, and is an oil which has no taste, odor or color. The preparation is a very involved process known only to a few persons. There is no reason to believe that any other nation or group is familiar with the preparation and uses of the drug. The drug is also almost impossible to analyze, and for this reason there would be little danger of compromise if it were found among the effects of one of our men. If queried as to the composition of the liquid the agent might well say he would like to know himself so that he might be able to have it made up himself more sharply than by his doctor's prescription.


At present the oil is put up by the [...] in ampules of 3cc. Inasmuch as a maximum dose is .03cc the ampules are too large for our use. It will be suggested to the [...] that for our use the ampules be of .5cc capacity, or even .25cc. The ampules may be passed off as insulin, some form of allergy antibody, or the agent may feign ignorance and say he believes they are for a vitamin deficiency. The searchers may assume, of course, that the agent is a drug addict. When exposed to air the oil begins to deteriorate and turns yellow-orange slowly. However it will remain effective for some weeks and in one case in a cigarette it was effective to some extent after 6 months. An ampule can be resolved with a piece of rubber, this will not halt deterioration.

kit similar to those used by diabetes patients [...] will to transport the items without exciting suspicion. [...] usual size. The hypo body however should be of only .25cc explicitly and graduated by .01cc. This will have to be a special order because as a general rule hypo bodies are made up in bigger sizes. The kit should contain some grain alcohol and cotton for cleaning the hypo and needle. If not altered promptly the parts will become gummed by the oil as it hardens and evaporates.


TD is a "Sunday Punch" and should not be used unless the Agent has given thought to all possibilities and feels certain the use of the drug is necessary. It must not be used indiscriminately and without the proper build-up. Its effects are to some extent similar to liquor and the subject who is suspicious and strong minded may not reveal the information you desire. Especially is this true if he feels that your contact with him is for the one purpose of getting information from him. Before the administration the Agent must establish some feeling of mutuality. The subject should be made to feel secure and relaxed. If possible no reference to the business of actual interest should be made until the drug has been applied and taken effect. For the foregoing reasons it may be seen that that the best preliminary move is to get the Subject to take a few drinks of liquor.

As examples of the foregoing, the story was told of a visit to a Prisoner of War Camp in Virginia where only top-notch German military personnel were kept for interrogations. One German submarine commander, who was considered outstanding in his field, had been the sole survivor of his submarine's sinking and it was thought he had valuable information concerning: (1) the depth to which the submarines could go with safety, and (2) the morale of German submarine crews. Both of these items were of extreme interest to our Navy at the time. Many attempts had been made to obtain this information from the commander, however, he was extremely wary. At the time of the visit the commander was invited over the officers' club for a few social drinks, which was more or less customary. After a few drinks and some conversation, it could be seen that while he would talk freely on almost all matters, he was well aware of the fact that an attempt might be made to obtain information from him. The opportunity was found to give him a cigarette which had been loaded and after approximately half an hour had passed from the first administration, one of the company, in a round-about and innocent manner, lead up to the question of maximum depth. The commander, although at this time definitely under the effects of the drug, was still wary and indicated he would not give information on this point. Some time later after two more cigarettes had been consumed, the talk was lead around to morale and he freely conversed about the general lowering of German submarine personnel morale. However, no information was ever obtained concerning maximum depth.

Another case of that of a well-known dope peddler and racketeer in New York City who was well-known to the operator from his days of law enforcement work. The dope peddler was telephoned and asked to come to see the operator who described himself as being connected with secret government work and who was in a position to give the dope peddler an opportunity to help his country in the War. Despite the character of the peddler, he evidently harbored some feelings of patriotism and presented himself, when it was explained that it was thought his connections in Sicily could be used for espionage purposes. Conversation along this line was carried on for some time and no reference was made to any illegal activities of the dope peddler. Although the dope peddler did not drink liquor, he was persuaded to take just one liqueur to keep the operator "company." Also, during the time, three cigarettes had been given to him at different times. The effect was quite rapid and in about 20 minutes after the third cigarette, the peddler told freely of the many illegal activities in which he had been and was then engaged concerning the smuggling of narcotics. He also named many of his associates and officials who were also involved in this activity, although he was well aware that the person to whom he was talking was, and might be in the future, connected with law enforcement activity.

A little later the peddler complained of feeling very light-headed, as though he had had too much liquor. He discarded this as an explanation, however, because he had had only one drink. He did state that he had been having a little trouble with his digestion and he had not eaten for approximately 24 hours. The operator to cover up this situation convinced him that the one liqueur on an empty stomach and his fasting had made him sick and susceptible to the alcoholic fumes. He accepted this explanation.

Another case was one which illustrated the rule that a common basis must first be established and that suspicion must be allayed. This case involved the questioning of approximately 30 army officers in the space of one day. All of the officers were suspected of being Communists and the interview here being held to try to establish the suspicion. It should be noted that because of the speed with which the interrogations were carried out, no mutuality of feeling could be first established, and also because most of the men were in fact Communists and were suspicious, their fears concerning the questioning were not quieted. Nevertheless, the drug was administered in cigarettes and five of the thirty, even under the adverse conditions, gave full information concerning their Communist affiliations.


Administration of the drug in cigarettes is the easiest method. However, it is difficult to gauge the amount of drug taken by the subject because of the different habits of smoking of various persons. Some people smoke a cigarette down to a small stub without withdrawing it from their mouths very often, whereas others take only a few puffs and in the interim either hold the cigarette in their hands or place it on an ash tray. To load a cigarette, the needle should be thrust in the center along with axis until it is approximately one inch from the opposite end. The needle should then be slowly withdrawn, the drug being deposited while this is taking place. The operator must be careful not to deposit the drug too near the paper wrapping or in too great concentration at one point, as it may reach the paper and stain it. The operator may choose to place either .03 cc in one cigarette or .01 cc in each of three cigarettes to get maximum dosage.

Perhaps the surest way of application is in food, such as candy, hors d'oeuvres, and the like. Here it is assumed that all of the dose will be consumed and there is the further advantage that some check may be made of the amount consumed. For instance, .01 cc could be placed in each of three chocolates which could be given the subject at different times, so as to stretch out the operation. This may be valuable on occasions because it may be that the required effect will be obtained from .01cc and that the person might be overcome with .03 cc and thereby frustrating the attempt. The hypodermic may be carried wrapped up in a pocket to a place where food will be served and the subject will be present, or it may be used in the home. Preparation of the particular food to be used may be made well in advance.

The administration of the drug in liquor is the most satisfactory, inasmuch as the subject in rationalizing his physical feeling will ascribe his feeling of light-headedness to the liquor. The difficulty is, however, that the oil is not soluble in liquor and in fact is only sparingly soluble in straight grain alcohol. When drops are placed in liquor it will be found that they will remain as small droplets and will settle to the bottom of the container. An attempt is being made to develop a tincture which can be used directly in liquor or other liquids.

The operator can look for a reaction from cigarette administration in approximately 15 minutes. In a food administration the effect may appear anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. These are not always dependable rules, however. The time of reaction will differ with each person, and depends upon the physical condition of the subject, the amount of food or liquor he has already consumed, the length of time since his last meal, etc. In general, it may be said that his time of reaction will keep the same [...] as the time of reaction to alcoholic stimulants under the same conditions.

The operator must not become impatient because of the danger of giving too much to the subject. While the drug will not cause harmful effects or injure the subject, it will probably cause him to lose consciousness in the same manner as one who is completely drunk, and no further questioning will be possible. It is because of this factor that it is advisable to administer the drug in doses of .01 cc over a period of time which will permit observations of results.

The oil is extremely [...] and for this reason must be ejected slowly from the hypodermic. If it is attempted to force the liquid out rapidly, the result may be to force the needle off the hypodermic into the article in which the oil is being injected. Because of this characteristic of the oil, the hypodermic cannot be filled by dipping the needle into the liquid. The needle must be taken off the hypodermic barrel and the liquid drawn in through a large aperture in the hypodermic body. The liquid exhibits less viscosity at higher temperatures.

It has been found that the amount of drink or food consumed by the subject during the time the drug is administered has no effect on the results produced by the drug as such. It may be that the subject becomes nauseated, however, this will only result from too much food or drink and not from the drug.

One administration of from .01 cc to .03 cc will as a rule last in effect from one-half to one hour. It may take as much as two or three hours in extreme cases to administer the drug and reduce the subject to a point where he talks freely. Because of this, it is essential that no operation of this kind be carried on where it is certain that there will be no interruptions for a period of three or four hours. While the subject is under the influence, he will exhibit all the evidence of being very drunk and for this reason his appearance in public may excite considerable suspicion and comment.


The effects of the drug are similar in many ways to the effects produced by alcohol. The brain appears to be intoxicated, however, no delusions are produced such as occur in the use of some other drugs. The drug appears to relax all inhibitions and to [...] the areas of the brain which govern an individual's discretion. It also accentuates the senses and increases any strong characteristics of the individual. As a rule, in this way it is similar to liquor. Sexual inhibitions are lowered, the sense of humor is accentuated to the point where almost any statement can seem ridiculously funny, and, on the other hand, where a person is basically unpleasant, he may become more so. In some cases, repressions are emphasized; however, this does not appear to affect the giving of information or answering questions. In some cases it may be found that while repressions are emphasized for a time, this condition will gradually clear up. It was stated that, generally speaking, the reaction will be one of extreme pleasure, producing an hilarious mood and the tendency to indulge in practical jokes of a simple nature and horseplay.


Tests have shown that the drug may remain potent in a cigarette for a couple of weeks and in one case it was found that considerable reaction was caused by a cigarette in which the drug had been introduced surreptitiously six months before. As a general rule, the drug would keep even longer in food unless the food itself were to spoil.

Possession of the drug is contrary to Federal law, and a special license, obtainable from the Bureau of Narcotics, is necessary to make legal its possession. This fact may be used to prevent the retention of this drug by persons not in the employ of the Government and who should have no access to the drug.

When the effects of the drug wear off, the subject will, as a rule, have no sense of nausea or feel other physical effects, as he might in the case of interrogation caused by liquor. He will be perfectly aware of the fact that he talked freely and was possible indiscreet. His memory will be in no way affected, and as a rule subject will ascribe his looseness of tongue to the fact that he was intoxicated. It should be remembered that in some cases where an individual has revealed extremely confidential information, his memory of the fact when he regains normality may cause him to take desperate action of one sort or another, such as leaving the country, attempting to do the operator harm, or to commit suicide. Because of these possibilities this fact must be given consideration before the drug is administered.

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