Posts Tagged ‘sales’
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
The Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have written to the Attorney General of the United States expressing concern over the Silk Road and the use of Bitcoins to make purchases there. Unfortunately pursuing legal options for monitoring its use present several problems. Bitcoins are technically not currency and not legally considered money.
The anonymity service known as TOR (The Onion Router) which allows users to disguise their identity when navigating Silk Road makes it difficult to pinpoint users both buying or selling drugs online. One bank exchanging bitcoins online has been identified as Mt. Gox exchange. Its website claims it handles over 80% of the bitcoin trade at the moment. It’s location is unknown and its website lists no contact information, but anecdotal evidence suggests it is located in Japan.
If the DEA is going to pursue any sort of legal investigation into this network it will need its international peers for assistance. In the meantime, the appearance of charges to Mt Gox or payments from Mt Gox on a credit card statement can be an indication of a use of bitcoin currency. However these charges do not necessarily indicate use of the Silk Road or purchases of drugs as many other items are listed for sale there.
The important thing here is that distance, silence, funding, denial and enabling must not be allowed to provide the fertile ground for the increasingly innovative ways people who want to use drugs can find to use them. The convenience of buying alcohol is not a deterrent to becoming free of alcohol addiction any more than the availability of drugs is going to decide if addicts are able to access recovery. Real sustained recovery is a life of hope and health that makes the choice to use drugs or alcohol unattractive.
Someone with a drug problem, faced with the challenge of procuring drugs, is one of the most resourceful people you will ever meet. As long as money is to be made from addicts, sellers will find a way to reach them. The Silk Road is just another alternative and shutting it down will not solve the War on Drugs.
The answer lies in hands on, one to one engagement with the problem. Doing what we can with what we have to reduce risk and opportunity. Loving confrontation, attention to warning signs and direct involvement in the lives of loved ones are the keys. Are they a panacea, will they stop addiction from cropping up? No. But they will reduce the opportunity for a clandestine lifestyle of drug addiction to flourish.