Despite the generally positive outlook the survey paints in relation to safety and accessibility, respondents did mention some downsides to the online illegal drug route of purchasing. As multiple drug markets have been shut down by authorities, as well as the owners of the popular Evolution website taking off with a significant amount of its users funds, the possibility of personal financial loss is rather high. 28% of Dark Web users claim to have lost money (as represented in online cryptocurrency Bitcoin), compared to 11%t of those buying on the street.
According to Netherlands-based addiction centre Jellinek organisation, its team manager Floor van Bakkum states that: “It’s utopian to think that you can stop this. Booking an airplane ticket is something we do online, so buying drugs will eventually become an online experience, too”. A sentiment echoed by The European Union with: “The growth of online and virtual drug markets pose major challengers to law enforcement and drug control policies”.
The closure of (the first) Silk Road, nearly two years ago, ultimately hardly affected the online drug trade, with the number of deals actually tripling from 15K to 45K over the past 24 months. Furthermore, there is a wide consensus that Ross Ulbricht has effectively been turned into a US Judicial System scapegoat with prevalent evidence pointing in the direction of innocence (at least, in regard to his most serious charges involving murder-for-hire). A new documentary from Director Alex Winter, entitled ‘Deep Web‘ (see trailer below) tackles the Dark Web, with specificity to The Silk Road, focusing on issues of internet democratisation, transparency, as well as the affect of the global “War on Drugs” on issues of drug safety, and prevalence of use in general.
If you are interested in advice on safer drug use, The Global Drug Survey has also compiled their “Highway Code,” which can be downloaded in full – HERE