Online drug sales, just like over-the-counter drug sales, have been on the rise for the past several years, worldwide. Law enforcement crackdowns like the closure of the “Silk Road” website found in the “Deep Web” or “Dark Net” in October of 2013 was supposed to curb this phenomenon. The latest information found by Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald shows that sales have continued to explode unabated worldwide. Also, there is information showing that many new online drug-selling websites have not only replaced “Silk Road” online, but have grown far larger and more numerous in its place.
The facts are that safety, competition, and anonymity are driving people who wish to buy illegal drugs to this wave of online drug marketplaces. In some locales, the online price is half of what it costs to buy on a local street corner. The Global Drug Survey 2015 polled over 100k people from 50 countries with various questions about how they buy drugs, where they get them, and their motivations for the use of various drugs.
Six years ago, when online drug sales were just beginning, only 5% of respondents to the survey had bought drugs online. In this year’s survey, that rate has increased 400% to 25% of all respondents. The annual survey is overseen by Adam Winstock, a British addictions psychiatrist, says that the availability of drugs online does not lead to an increase in the number of people using “social drugs”. It has only changed the venue more from in-person to online marketplaces.
“The reason people are using the internet is really dissatisfaction with the existing drug markets,” Dr Winstock said. “You’ve still got immensely expensive drugs in Australia and to be honest I’m amazed that you don’t have a more thriving research chemicals market.”
Also read: Bitcoin Value And The Ghost of Silk Road
An interesting factoid to come from this survey is the danger in the use of “synthetic cannabis”. Use of this drug was particularly low, with only 1.7% claiming its use overall, but those who used it were far more likely to seek emergency treatment. Rates were far greater than those who admitted to using herbal cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, or ecstasy (also known as MDMA). Most respondents were age 30 and under. Dr Winstock said the survey proves that the closure of the internet drug marketplace Silk Road twenty months ago has had no effect on the online drug trade. Since the 2013 Drug Survey, online sales have tripled to 45000.
Since the days of Silk Road’s closure by authorities in 2013, the drug listing online have also been shown to triple in number from a fleet of new websites. Since October of 2013, sites like Agora and the recently-closed Evolution have passed the size of Silk Road’s business, at least in the number drug listing.
If this should tell you anything, it is that drug use, online or offline, will never stop. For thousands of years, really since the dawn of time, people have used drugs around the world. Governments go to war, without the consent of their citizenry. People use drugs, without the consent of their government. Neither will ever change, and one is considerably more important to stop than the other.
The selling of drugs by corporations being seen as good or better than sales not from a corporation is a lovely little scam that has been running for about a century. Marijuana has cured people of, or at least removed the symptoms of, multiple diseases from rheumatism to cancer, yet it has been illegal in the U.S. for decades. The scam is that if Pfizer, Bayer or Johnson & Johnson aren’t branding drugs and making a fortune off of it, it will be deemed illegal by the U.S. Government and others. That’s called fascism. The government is protecting the interest of corporations, removing any drug-making competition, over the interests of the public at large.
No wonder people are on drugs to begin with, and getting more every day. This rash of corporate corruption at the highest levels is a part of the problem. As you can see, it damn sure is not a part of any solution. All you can try to do is make drug use and drug sales safer overall, which was the ethos of the “Silk Road” to begin with.
Image provided by Digital Citizens Alliance
What do you think of increased online sales? Does a government crackdown help in any way? Share above and comment below.