They rise and they fall. The Silk Road 2.0 has bee taken down by the FBI in collaboration with European agencies, but this will do more harm than good. People are dying because they don’t know what they are taking or how to consume it safely. Attacking online marketplaces is a waste of resources. Put down the guns and think – drugs aren’t going anywhere; let’s do them safely.
Like all the nameless empire’s abstract wars, the enemy refuses to lay down and die. Within days, a new site entitled Silk Road 3.0 arose.
Drugs are just too popular and too profitable to go away. Think about it: something as unloveable and unpopular as the Taliban has withstood the might of the empire. They have no chance against MDMA, which was the best selling drug on Silk Road 2.0.
Why should you care? Because online drug marketplaces have helped more drug users than law enforcement ever could. Sites like Silk Road, Agora, MiddleEarth and more provide safe spaces for normal people to find the substances they want. No guns, no violence. Buyers provide product and vendor feedback. One way or another, people who want amphetamines, cannabis, heroin etc are going to find it. Criminalising these behaviours will be about as successful as criminalising homosexuality, alcohol, tobacco, interracial marriage, or ice-cream cones. We need to ask the right questions, which in this case is “what is the best way to sell drugs?”
This weekend in Sydney, a young woman died from an apparent overdose at a harbour-side festival. According to NSW police, who issued a statement after the woman’s death,“There’s little to no quality control in the production of illicit drugs. Quite simply, you don’t know what you are getting – seeking a synthetic high, could result in a serious injury or death”. This on the same weekend as one of the largest websites providing peer -reviewed assessments and ratings for popular drugs is taken down, leaving the street dealer as the obvious fallback. The police are reactionary fools. They will continue to persecute drug users, drive use underground, criminalise popular behaviours and pretend they care. Don’t look to them for leadership.
In Portugal, many drugs have been decriminalised, and at the Boom festival there is a free drug info stand, where users can identify test their drugs for purity. If this had been available in Sydney, a young woman may still be alive.
Help yourself and help each other.