The drug topic is one that has far-reaching effects on the population of a given country.
For this reason, there have been a lot of ongoing debates and motions seeking to govern the use of certain types of drugs depending on the dosage and potency.
This has in turn called for the regulation of the industry through legalization or prohibition, and the question has now become: How does this impact the consumption and the sale of these products?
Effect of Legalizing Drugs
To start, we take a look at how legalization of such products has an effect on the dark web.
For a fact, a big reason why consumers turn to the dark web is to procure goods that are not legally available.
For the case of hard drugs, there are thousands of vendors offering these tangible goods on the darknet, making the purchaser have a wide variety of options.
When legalization of a particular drug takes place, the result is that there will be no apparent need to use the dark web to buy such since they are legally available.
Take, for instance, Canada. Recently, the Canadian government has been studying the association between marijuana and the dark web in the context of the country’s recent legalization of recreational cannabis.
This move made Canada the second country in the world to do so, after Uruguay.
Since the drug was illegal before, there is a likelihood that those who previously used marijuana acquired it alongside other drugs from darknet markets.
Now that legalization has come into effect and Canadian citizens can walk into the store and buy these recreational drugs, then surely the number of vendors in selling this product and shipping it to the country will decline.
There is also a likely possibility of drug dealers using this to their advantage.
In some previous instances, there have been reports of sellers mixing drugs of very high potency, making it even deadlier to the consumer. Such instances have resulted in high death rates.
Since marijuana can be smoked, taken as a cookie or even a capsule, it is possible to package other drugs in this form.
In the long run, as much as the regulation is meant to keep the situation in check by ensuring that all marijuana sold meet specific requirements for public safety, there will still be a section of Canadians who will still use darknet markets.
In a study by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, it was revealed that Canada is one of the countries with the highest concentration of individuals buying drugs from these Tor-based markets, and cannabis has the highest purchases.
The legalization will reduce if not finish the demand for marijuana bought from the dark web, and in turn, increase the popularity of another drug.
Apparently, not only for drugs, but also other products, when individuals can find what they are looking for legally, whether a good or a service, its demand on the dark web will decline.
A perfect example is the sale of zero-day services, which has drastically dropped over the past five years.
Prohibiting Drug Sale and Consumption
By setting up regulations meant to limit the production, sale and consumption of drugs, the effect is that there will be an increase of illegal manufacturers and individuals using the dark web.
In some countries, there have been laws meant to govern the use of opioids through prescription. In as much as the rules are intended to limit the consumption, addicts can always find such on the darknet.
More so, in a majority of cases, regulation has focused more on trying to curb the sale but not reduce the harms of misusing drugs.
This is the reason why there have been overdose cases in some countries since those who use the drugs can purchase more dangerous ones and take them without any prescription.
For illustration purposes, we can look at the cigarette and alcohol industries, which have been heavily regulated for years.
These two components are less addictive than those found on illegal drug markets but generate revenue running into billions of dollars annually.
So, one cannot dispute the fact that because the dark web offers more addictive drugs, it will remain as a source for days, months and years to come.
A case study can be made in Australia.
Long before the era of the dark web and the internet, in the early 1950s, Australia declared heroin illegal, but the effect was that there was an increase in the level of overdose deaths in the subsequent years.