More and more, it appears as though human civilization is beginning to recognize that the “War on Drugs” isn’t as effective as previously thought.
Although there are notable exceptions such as The Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte and his harsh anti-drug policies have claimed thousands of deaths, it appears though many other nations are finally turning a new leaf—understanding that when law enforcement cracks down on drugs, it can have drastic effects on society, as it has broken up families, affected overall urban productivity and renewed tensions between neighborhoods and law enforcement that still exist to this day.
One thing is for sure—more human beings than ever are understanding that we need to re-evaluate how we think of drugs, and that will take a renewed interest of education on the different types of drugs that are out there, and how massively different they are.
In the United States, there have been states that have not only embraced medicinal marijuana, but recreational marijuana as well, in a massive change from decades before.
Colorado, for example, has experienced a massive boom to its local economy as a result.
That’s probably why a project such as PsychonautWiki is more important than ever.
PsychonautWiki is a website, available on both the clearnet and the dark web, that serves to educate the public in an impartial fashion about the true nature of drugs, accurately categorize them and describe their effects, as well.
The website is community-driven, meaning that Ph.D students from all across the world contribute to and collaborate with the drug encyclopedia.
Founded by a 23-year-old software engineer from Berlin named Kenan Sulayman, the website now brings in half a million visitors per month.
Mission and Applications of the Concept
The website obviously understands how visitors could be misinformed, so they have thoughtfully included a “responsible drug use index,” with articles detailing on how to properly choose dosages, which drugs might make you more dehydrated than others and tips on how to handle a “bad trip.”
Although the latter might sound like an article that would be found on a random college forum, PsychonautWiki is clearly a much more academic and calculated website than an amateur one, that might either glorify or villainize drugs.
It seems to truly strike the right tone. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone involved with the website is an accomplished scientist, of course.
Sulayman has elaborated on the issues involving the website in a recent Vice interview.
He originally started as a contributor, but ended up realizing that he was much more passionate about the project than to be limited in scope by this role. He is the one responsible for the revamp of the website to a more “professional” tone.
Notably, the website doesn’t actually use the term “drugs” because of the negative connotations that might result, especially in an international context, as the term has varying meanings and levels of negativity in different languages.
Sulayman also helped to bring in professionals and create a formal protocol for articles. With a background and experience in software engineering, he was able to personally help the entire project scale to match the increasing traffic.
However, Sulayman admitted that the website has had its setbacks. According to him, several of the original writers have died due to drug overdoses, and one of the contributors is currently incarcerated after his excessive use of a particular kind of ketamine.
This shouldn’t be completely surprising, given the fact that the website was bound to organically draw contributors who were passionate about consuming drugs.
In 2016, many of the contributors met up in Durham, England, “where we did quite a lot of drugs together,” according to Sulayman.
The meetup had taken place at the end of the year, and Sulayman had met Josie Kins, a trans woman who had inspired the entire website, earlier that year.
Kins had a blog entitled Disregard Everything I Say, which Sulayman credits for the birth of PsychonautWiki, as it was a blog that delved into psychedelics.
Kins had met another woman named Jenny through the blog, and moved to Durham to be with her.
Jenny later passed away in 2017 due to drugs, and this took a massive toll on Kins. This tragic event forced Sulayman to step up. He claims proudly: “20,000 edits later, we’re on track.”
Understanding His Role
Sulayman is serious about his website being a resource. He has made a rule that no one can write an article under the influence of drugs, after it was clear that contributors were on drugs when writing certain articles.
He also has added warnings to the website and made sure that it is a professional resource for the responsible drug user or individual interested in drugs, rather than a quickly-written, sloppily-researched database of substances.
The website has valuable tools such as a replication index, to mirror effects of certain drugs, and a “recent changes” tab, for those who are interested in particular edits or adjustments.
For those who need a “pick me up” while browsing, there is even a “good vibes” tab, that takes the user to interesting and comforting images, music and videos.
For those who are simply looking to browse and find out new information, the “random article” tab might be a great option.
Sulayman seems to understand that he runs an important website, that helps to summarize and describe drugs that many people don’t even know exist.
He seems to feel as though this wasn’t the strangest path for him, as he has always been a rebel.
He speaks on the fact that since an early age, he has been interested in testing boundaries.
He also was interested programming and the Tor language, which perhaps helped to fuel his passion for the subversive.
Sulayman does emphasize that he takes his role seriously, and that it requires patience and understanding when it comes to his contributors.
He sums it up with this statement: “We don’t want to judge anyone, we just stay close to the facts.”
PsychonautWiki can be reached on the clearnet here.
The dark web URL is: http://www.psychonaut3z5aoz.onion, reachable through the Tor network.
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