For a nation of some 23 million odd punters, Australia’s punching well above its weight class in the darknet drug ring.
Research presented at last week’s Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association Conference concluded that the land down under harbors more online drug vendors per capita than any other nation in the world, not including the Netherlands (because it’s the fucking Netherlands), with more and more Aussies turning to the digital trap houses of cryptomarkets, a la Silk Road, to buy and sell illicit substances.
Of those various illicit substances, it is in the sale of ecstasy, opioids and particularly methamphetamine where Australia really outshines the competition. Worryingly, Aussies make up more than a quarter of the world’s total darknet meth dealers, according to an article published by online academic forum The Conversation, with Australian-based online vendors also selling the drug for about 45% cheaper than the average local street peddler.
You’ll be paying a premium if you want to support the local economy, however, with Australian-based online dealers marking their prices up to as much as six times those of foreign-based dealers. As The Conversation points out, this is likely a result of Australia’s successful border security measures, with local consumers unwilling to take the risk of having their goodies shipped in from international locations only to be snatched up by the po-po upon arrival.
Australia was recently deemed one of the most expensive countries in the world to buy drugs for much the same reason– and, ironically enough, it’s the Aussie dealers who are benefiting: with the tight net of border security keeping international competition at bay, local peddlers– both online and off– are free to hike up their prices and, in turn, their profits.
While all this talk of cheap meth and pricey molly may sound a little grim, The Conversation piece determines, quite admirably, to take a glass-half-full perspective on the matter.
“Despite the growth in darknet drug trading in Australia,” it states, “there are important reasons to remain optimistic regarding its overall impact on both drug consumers and broader society.
“Darknet drug consumers typically report access to higher quality illicit drugs online compared to those available from conventional sources. They have greater knowledge regarding the composition of illicit drugs and are able to access information regarding safer forms of drug use… the “silver linings” associated with the darknet drugs trade suggest that for every additional drug deal done online instead of on the street, further progress is being made in reducing the harms associated with illicit drugs.”