The parliament found themselves in an awkward position when trying to explain why staff members visited illegal drug sites 484 times in 2013. Officials claim that there is no way to know what staffers were doing on the sites during the workday, and the employees could have investigated these sites for official reasons. However, the ease of buying drugs online is a serious issue in the UK, and it will be difficult for the government to crack down if they are part of the problem.
Online drug companies make buying illegal substances as easy as ordering movies from Amazon. The Guardian found that these companies use encryption software to prevent third parties from investigating website data. They also accept an anonymous form of currency available online and can send the drugs in discrete packages through the mail. The article notes that the government does not have enough resources to effectively combat these online retailers.
Britain was recently named the addiction capital of Europe because of high addiction rates to substances like heroin, ecstasy and cocaine. However, stopping the use of illegal drugs is not the only concern because legal drugs are popular online products. Substances that are legal but are not meant for consumption or drugs meant only for those with prescriptions are now being distributed through the internet. It is harder to prevent this practise that results in users getting what is known as a “legal high.” There is a significant grey area in which various organisations operate. This goes from innocent cannabis seed banks to stores that sell anything they can ship by using the popular online bitcoin currency.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it possible for those that do not want to buy drugs online to make connections and meet up in person. There are dozens of clubs that gather discretely to smoke cannabis and debate issues regarding the drug. While these groups break the law when they partake in the material they are discussing, they have above-board goals like legalising the substance for medical use.
Drug addiction weakens the UK economy, and online channels make legal and illegal drugs too simple to find information about and purchase. A solution seems unlikely in the near future because the government has limited funds and its own drug related troubles.
Last month the FBI cleaned up the American Silk Road