In the aftermath of the guilty verdicts handed down in the case of Ross Ulbricht, some journalists have been having a field day reporting on the downfall of the ‘alleged mastermind’ behind Silk Road, while others are shining a light on the apparent miscarriage of justice . But curiously absent in the deluge of reporting around Silk Road is the discussion about the drug war. While it’s disappointing that we’d rather use words like ‘alleged mastermind’ than ‘evidence of drug war failure,’ it’s perhaps understandable, because it’s not always easy to talk about the uncomfortably obvious:
People use drugs. They get those drugs from someone else. In order to consume drugs, someone had to buy them, and someone had to sell them. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to acknowledge the reality of it.
Our entire approach to responding to that reality has thus far been a dismal disappointment. Silk Road was, in the most basic sense, a product of our failed war on drugs—a response to our woefully inadequate way of managing not only drug use, but also drug demand and drug sales.
Many reformers, myself included, have long been highlighting the forward-thinking benefits of Silk Road and the ways it began to slowly revolutionize drug sales around the world. It provided a platform that could allow indigenous growers and cultivators around the world to sell directly to the consumer, potentially reducing cartel participation and violence. It created an economic opportunity for drug sellers with previous felony drug convictions and others typically excluded from participating in the regulated and controlled US drug sales marketplaces (such as dispensaries where marijuana is sold).
– Read the entire article at AlterNet.