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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2011 Jan-Mar;43(1):55-63. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2011.566501.

Drugs, the Internet and change.

Author information

1
School of Law, University of Leicester, United Kingdom. charlotte.walsh@le.ac.uk

Abstract

This article investigates the symbiotic relationship between drugs and the Internet, focusing (though not exclusively) on psychedelics. Programming on psychedelics in Silicon Valley from the 1960s to date is detailed, as are the twinned conceptualizations of drugs as a technology and technology as a drug. The correlation between drugs, the Internet, and consumerism is explored: the Internet is a medium through which "white," "grey" and "black" drug markets flourish. Thus, this article details the burgeoning online trades in pharmaceuticals, recreational, and "life-style" drugs that turn the Internet into a veritable candy store. Drug forums transmogrify into street corners, threatening the continued existence of the current system of global prohibition. However, it is arguably the use of the Web as an information source that may offer the greatest challenge to the incumbent paradigm, with experiential discourses offering alternatives to the hegemonic narrative, as the relationships between drugs, those who sell drugs and drug takers are reconfigured online.

PMID:
21615008
DOI:
10.1080/02791072.2011.566501
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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