The U.S. Government Is Committed to Keeping the Drug Market As Dangerous As Possible

Online DrugsJacob Sullum writes on Reason:

Yesterday the Justice Department unsealed an indictment that charges eight men from three countries with running “a sophisticated online drug marketplace that sold everything from marijuana to mescaline to some 3,000 people around the world,” AP reports:

“The Farmer’s Market”…allowed suppliers of drugs—including LSD, Ecstasy and ketamine—to anonymously sell their wares online. They hooked up with buyers in 34 countries and accepted various forms of payment, including cash, Western Union and PayPal transactions, the indictment claims….

The market “provided a controlled substances storefront, order forms, online forums, customer service, and payment methods for the different sources of supply” and charged the suppliers a commission based upon the value of the order, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

“For customers, the operators screened all sources of supply and guaranteed delivery of the illegal drugs,” the statement said …. The marketplace allegedly used the Tor network, which spreads website and email communications through a volunteer network of servers around the world in order to mask Internet address information…”

Read More: Reason

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  • Redacted

    Such is Capitalism. The Prison Industry are job creators, and how dare us on the left cry out when families are broken up over such a SERIOUS offense as having a joint. Marijuana is dangerous and will corrupt the mind into such dangerous behavior as watching cartoons and eating potato chips.

    In order to protect the youth from the evils of cartoons and potato chips, I propose we compile a list of the top 10 leading HEROES of the War on Drugs, and publish their names and addresses for all to see.

    So that we may gather outside their homes and revel in their GLORIOUS presence.

  • Okarin

    the free market mentality took on when large corporations saw the public as a huge market to exploit but needed the restrictions removed, like the glass-steagall act

  • http://twitter.com/mattstaggs Matt Staggs

    I think that Redacted is closer to the truth of the matter – an interest in prison industry and law enforcement job creation and a vested interest in keeping a monopoly on products like hemp that might upset the corporate apple cart – than an interest in making the market dangerous. I’m strongly in favor of legalizing marijuana, but I think that this is something that is going to be better pursued through legal means rather than publishing the addresses of people with whom I have an ethical and philosophical agreement. There’s the potential for violence that might not be much different from that practiced by Mexican drug cartels, even if that’s not the goal.

    • Eric_D_Read

      There is already violence on the level practiced by cartels; it’s just a one way street north of the border. 
      As for pursuing legal means? Dream on. The people running the show have already heard every ethical, scientific, populist, and economic argument for legalization. They’ve made it quite clear that they don’t give a shit.

      • http://twitter.com/mattstaggs Matt Staggs

        That’s not necessarily true. We probably share the same grim view of our current political system: it doesn’t represent the will of its citizens nearly as well as it does the corporations and bankers. That being said, it doesn’t mean it’s always going to be that way. Maybe someone can shake it all up a little down the road. Maybe we all can. I’m vehemently opposed to the violence and draconian legal measures applied to peaceful pot-farmers and those who wish to buy their product, but I’m also opposed to murdering my fellow citizens in cold-blood. All of that being said, I don’t think that will ever happen. For all the talk of violent, revolutionary action, I don’t see too many people grabbing a rifle and taking to the streets – Thank God.

        • mannyfurious

          I think Matt’s right on this one. Again, there’s all this talk about violent revolution, but the fact remains that “the people” are not the ones with tanks and fighter jets and silos-worth of pepper spray and underground bunkers. “The People” would be easily slaughtered.

          The fact remains that political change–as far-fetched as it seems–is still much more likely than violent revolution. I mean, I never thought I’d see a black president in my lifetime. My own parents never thought they’d see legalized homosexual marriage in theirs. Here, in Colorado, marijuana is essentially legal (but the state should be doing a better job of taxing it and making some kind of income off of it). I know I’m expressing a distinctly unpopular opinion, but government itself is not the problem. It’s the way we’ve allowed money to influence it and it’s also the fact that for everyone of us that wants to move this country forward, there’s someone who thinks this country hit it’s high-water mark sometime before the start of the civil war. 

        • Eric_D_Read

          Listing agents’ personal info isn’t necessarily a call to murder. Perhaps public shaming and ostracism of goon squads may make their lives more difficult and hurt recruitment efforts. While I won’t endorse (or condemn) violence against them, I’d applaud any means to make their lives less comfortable.

          Maybe I’m just a natural cynic, but I don’t see any reason to expect any change in the political system to make it more representative of the will of “the people.”
          If anything, it is heading in the exact opposite direction.

  • DeepCough

    See, the free market can be used to get people what they want in a relatively safe and ethical manner, but I guess since this runs afoul of a government agency’s bloated authority on the matter, nope, we just can’t have it.