In 1996, Gary Webb, a journalist awarded with the Pulitzer price, discovered that there was a shocking political dimension to the crack epidemic that had destroyed the black community in Los Angeles: the Nicaragua Contras were responsible for the drugs' spread in the United States. They traded drugs in order to buy weapons to use against the Santinistas. Not only did the CIA know what its' protegees were up to and didn't even try to stop them, but it also covered their back from the L.A. police.
Drug experts and journalists who were aware of the case, warned Webb to stop investigating, but he decided to go on. His revelations caused turmoil in the US and were later on confirmed by a internal CIA investigation. But his life had already been ruined: he had to quit his newspaper and got divorced with his wife. His interview with Reportage Without Frontiers may have been the last he ever granted: he was found dead in his house in December 2004...
The first episode of this special report on drugs tracks down the history of drugs in the 20th century and their use for political purposes. Former drug enforcement agency police officers narrate stories that resemble science fiction. The hallucinatory drug LSD, symbol of the psychedelic culture of the 60's, was fabricated in American laboratories and was given to oblivious citizens with the help of the head of the DEA, in order to study their reactions to the drug. Many of them, as the later-on head of the CIA reveals to our program, went mad, as they did not know what caused their hallucinations.