First, some background: since 2011, Silk Road has operated as the Internet’s definitive black market, a place where drugs – from weed to heroin – and money changed hands in a safe (as in, from getting caught), anonymous manner. Watch this video for a local news network’s alarmed take:
Anyone outside of Silk Road’s dedicated community had to have seen it going down, eventually. There’s just no way that the DEA, FBI and any other acronym-ed government arm you want to consider would allow such an operation to continue.
Which leads us to October 2nd, when the FBI confronted website creator Ross Ulbricht, 29, seizing the website in the process.
According to the New York Times, Ulbricht was caught in a trap set by an undercover agent posing as a Road client. Ross contacted the undercover in an attempt to set up a hit (in addition to drugs, weapons and “favors” can also be exchanged through the site) on a former Road employee who Ross feared was going to snitch. A meeting was to take place in a San Francisco library, where, instead of an eager and willing hit-man, he met the FBI. I’ll wager that the story becomes a movie within the next 10 years.
Like anything else with drugs, your own opinion on the matter has a direct relation to the personal experiences you’ve had with substances. The more conservative members of the audience are probably terrified by the prospect of mail-order drugs; others probably shrug at the news, chalking it up as just another way to get high.
I will say this: I’ve had friends mail-order weed a handful of times, through different means than Silk Road. It’s not as uncommon as the NYT would have you think; like every other corner of society that it touches, the internet has blown the drug trade door wide open. Unfortunately (and I do believe that the dangers of such services outweigh the benefits), it doesn’t matter how much money is poured into stopping like-minded operations. New websites are bound to pop up. Just another reality we’re going to have to adjust to.