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China Crime The Internet

How the Web Makes a Real-Life Breaking Bad Possible 194

Posted by samzenpus
from the say-my-name dept.
gallifreyan99 writes "The real revolution in drugs isn't Silk Road—it's the open web. Thanks to the net, almost anyone with a basic handle on chemistry can design, manufacture and sell their own narcotics, and in most cases the cops are utterly unable to stop them. This piece is kind of crazy: the writer actually creates a new powerful-but-legal stimulant based on a banned substance, and gets a Chinese lab to manufacture it."
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How the Web Makes a Real-Life Breaking Bad Possible

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  • Federal Analog Act? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:21AM (#46107903) Journal
    Obviously enforcement of every bespoke chemical being synthesized to order is impractical even by the standards of the drug wars; but are substances such as the one described in the article actually 'legal'? My (admittedly layman's) understanding of the Federal Analog Act was that it was a fairly blatant blanket ban on 'absolutely anything that looks like something illegal and has some recreational potential'. A rather expansive law; but one that you can't just wiggle past on a technicality (though, obviously, you can wiggle past on sheer logistical impracticality; but so can ~40 billion dollars worth of cocaine, so that isn't really a legality test...)
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:58AM (#46108059)

    The problem I personally have with the analogue act is the other side of it: Considering that pretty much anything that you can somehow introduce to your body and that doesn't kill you outright has some kind of psychological effect on it. If only it simply eliminates your feeling of hunger, i.e. food. Now, considering how similar from a chemical point of view many things are, especially when it comes to things that contain benzene- or furan-rings, according to that catch-all act you can essentially outlaw whatever you see fit.

    Half of the E-numbered additives should actually be on the banned list according to that rubberband law.

  • Re:Why wait? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by symes (835608) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @06:39AM (#46108341) Journal

    Exposure is an important predictor of misuse in a population. If you legalise (which decreases the costs of use) then there will be an increase in those using and therefore an increase in those suffering harm. Just like alcohol - the more bars there are in an area, the cheaper the alcohol, the more accessible the alcohol the more people drink. I am not against legalisation. But at the same time it is a policy that will probably reduce the criminal side of drug use (e.g. theft to support an addition) but also increase the number of those suffering harms because of drug use. It is hard to know what the best course of action is.

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