My latest mainstream piece is a feature in The Age profiling Silk Road’s much-respected DoctorX. The only SR user, as far as I can remember, to be quoted by Dread Pirate Roberts in his sig, with the memorable: ‘All drugs are absolutely harmless. If you leave cocaine, MDMA, meth or DMT on a table, they won’t try to assault you, rape you or hit your balls.’
The print version of my article poses the question “Should legitimate medical doctors be giving advice on how to take illegal drugs safely?”
You only need to look at his threads on Silk Road [.onion link] – both the original and the reincarnation – to know that the obvious answer to this is a resounding “Yes”. It would be ridiculous and pointless to try and preach abstinence to that particular audience. That thread is also evidence that Silk Road users are not all drug-fucked idiots: they take their own safety pretty seriously and want the high without the hurt.
I’m going to have the opportunity to meet the good doctor next week as we both participate as experts at a small thinktank on internet and drug markets. Hosted by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), it is one of a series of ‘trendspotter studies’. They involve a round of information gathering and culminate in an interactive multidisciplinary expert meeting. The aim of the meeting is to provide insight and understanding to the latest trends in the supply of illicit drugs.
The 15 or so experts have been drawn from a variety of fields and from several countries. Checking the latest list, I think I quoted or referenced at least a third of them in my book (mandatory plug: its called SilkRoad and comes out in Australia/NZ 28 October. If you want it in the rest of the world, you will either have to pay outrageous freight or lobby your local publishers to commission it. Or do what half my target market is gonna do and just pirate the PDF once its up on Pirate Bay*).
But I digress. I’m super-excited to be part of this – I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a conference more. It looks like an intelligent, open-minded bunch of people who are interested in seeing a sensible change in drug policy.
” I think dark web marketplaces will be an important factor that will force a change in drug policy in a near future.” DoctorX said in his interview with me.
I hope I can play some small part in that much-needed change.
* I totally don’t want you to pirate my book, but if you have to for logistical/geographical/anonymity reasons, it would be really really nice to chuck a little something into my BTC account 🙂