Silk Road Drug Study

Is the Online Drug Game Making Dealers Less Violent?

If only Tony was on Silk Road.

Last October, federal agents took down Silk Road, a notorious “eBay of drugs” where one could anonymously buy drugs, pirated content, and identity documents. But drug deals made “in the cloud” may have had a silver lining, according to a new study presented by criminologist David Decary-Hetu and law professor Judith Aldridge. Although previous studies describe Silk Road as a market for individuals who would only purchase for personal use, Aldridge and Decary-Hetu found that a large number of transactions were in fact made by dealers. The professors assert that this “new breed of drug dealer” is “likely to be relatively free from the violence typically associated with traditional drug markets.”

The researchers propose that while “violence was commonly used to gain market share, protect turfs and resolve conflicts, the virtual location and anonymity that the cryptomarket provides reduces or eliminates the need — or even the ability — to resort to violence.” The study also sheds some light on other common misconceptions about Silk Road, one being that it was primarily a market for harder drugs. Instead, the analysis found that “drugs typically associated with drug dependence, harmful use and chaotic lifestyles (heroin, methamphetamine and crack cocaine) do not much appear on Silk Road, and generate very little revenue.”

Silk Road Drug Study

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Rick Ross “Neighborhood Drug Dealer”

  • Maaaan listen, we need to do whatever we can to curb this violence in the streets. Drugs need to be made legal because the black market is the reason why so many people are getting killed. We moving in the right direction as far as decriminalization. But we need to look into who is making all this money off the war on drugs b/c I have a feeling the companies that are contracted to make the police squad cars, and the weapons, and the equipment for the government have a lot to do with keeping the drug war going.