Buying drugs used to be dangerous and sexy, now it’s for nerds

If you buy with bitcoin you’re a neek

Some news you might have missed from Croydon, where police have warned local gangsters not to hide drugs in their anuses, because it isn’t “glamourous”. 

“A 15-year-old boy being encouraged to conceal Class A drugs in his anus is not glamorous,” explains Detective Sergeant Steve George, as he bemoaned the south London borough’s “gangsters”.

Steve, like eating that grim one-sided slice at the end of the loaf, you are wrong. Smuggling Class A’s in your bumhole is glamorous, dangerous and funny. It’s how drug dealing ought to be.

For most of us, buying drugs today is none of those things. Purchasing them on the internet has completely removed them from the context of deprivation and the distrust behind the basis of every car seat transaction that made buying drugs special.

Our parents and Radio 4 documentaries might discuss the Dark Web as if it’s impossible to access but really anyone with a WiFi connection can download Tor, Google “silk road drugs” and then paste a link into an address field.

Trawling Reddit for Dark Web Markets has replaced sitting on a park bench in the cold or knocking on the kind of door you would never usually knock on and looking at the guy you’re buying off and wondering whether they’ve ever done bad things.

They bought their ket online didn't they?

They bought their ket online didn’t they?

We’ve exchanged the grim, exciting reality of street entrepreneurs stuffing drugs in each other’s cracks for vacuum packed next day deliveries from ebay like online exchanges. Go on any silk road off shoot and consider the star ratings for sellers, the detailed Amazon review style feedback, the assurances about customer service. This isn’t Compton, hell, this isn’t even Inglewood.

Consider the guy who ran the original Silk Road, a guy called Ross Ulbricht. A University of Texas physics graduate – a physics graduate. Look the vast majority of people who study physics, most of them look like they couldn’t stand on one foot and click their fingers for longer than ten seconds. Most of them have WoW accounts, could tell you the difference between a variety of real ales and explain why the Wheel of Time Series is superior to Game of Thrones.

These are the people we’re setting up to be the new drug lords, not that brave hustler in Croydon with the smack in his arse. It’s not right and it’s not cool. Nicholas Christin of Carnegie Mellon University studied Silk Road for six months and said he was surprised by how “normal” it was. “Normal” is that what we want from drugs? Is that why we started taking them?

Compare physics nerd Ulbricht with a real drug dealer like Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, the subject of 50 Cent’s Ghetto Qu’ran – a record which pissed Kenneth off so much he literally had Fiddy shot for recording it.

Who’s making records about geeks buying drugs off the Dark Web? Who’s trying to shoot the people making records about these geeks?

No one.

Getting drugs online has killed the possibility of another Dope Man or Ten Crack Commandments or Friend or Foe. We’re killing the drug ballad and we’re taking the edge off buying drugs and everyone’s too fucking high to mourn them passing.

I get that these clichéd Scarface fantasies are, in their own way, quite nerdy. But people who wouldn’t risk getting into cars you can smell (kush) before you can see aren’t the kind of people who have any right to buy drugs in the first place.