Dark web drug dealers selling to U.K. clients are now offering “ethically friendly” and vegan products for eco-conscious buyers.
The discovery, which was made by popular U.K. news outlet The Telegraph, showed that numerous dealers were now targeting middle-class individuals seeking environmentally conscious products.
Some of the products dubbed as “eco-friendly” in some of the top darknet marketplaces include vegan cookies laced with cannabis that are equally suitable for the paleo diet, LSD tablets made for individuals who don’t prefer animal products and MDMA pills made from vegan pill cases.
Other drugs that were also advertised as ethically sourced were dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and mephedrone, aka “meow meow,” extracted from the Brazilian Mimosa Hostilis that was harvested from sustainable farms.
Some dealers have gone as far as claiming that revenue collected from sales will not end up in the hands of criminal entities involved in human tracking, prostitution or other activities unacceptable in society.
Others have gone as far as packaging some of the drugs in reusable containers from the traditional Ziploc plastic bags for consumers who deem themselves eco-conscious.
Just a Marketing Ploy?
The National Crime Agency (NCA) warned users that the so-called “ethical drugs” were just but a marketing stunt by the dealers to cash in an extra buck.
A spokesperson from the agency stated that the messaging was likely a scam to entice potential clients as well as charge more for the drugs.
This statement comes months after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick earlier stated that the middle-class drug users who use eco-conscious drugs are not considering the harm and violence these drugs are causing both directly and indirectly to communities.
She said that the increase in demand for cocaine by this group was causing an increase in violent crimes in London.
Dick further criticized the group, voicing that they are worried about organic farming, protection of the environment, global warming and fair trade but are unmoved by the ecological destruction and death caused for their fix of cocaine.
Veganism Turning Mainstream
The NCA spokesperson further stated that most of the new psychotropic drugs are most manufactured in China and they are not aware of any ethical supplier or manufacturer from that region.
Ian Hamilton, a mental health and addiction lecturer at the University of York, weighed in his opinion to this matter stating that some drugs such as cocaine are, technically speaking, vegan.
He says that what needs to remain the crucial issue is the ecological destruction on forests in South America in instances of cocaine production as well as the violence associated with it.
Some experts have claimed that dealers are just opportunistic, taking advantage of the latest trend which may be somehow advantageous to some.
Ethical consumption and veganism have been surging in popularity, not just in London—it is swiftly becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
The growing consumer awareness and changing eating habits is pushing corporations to shift their ways to try and secure the new converts as well as the old.
Economic Dynamics & Darknet Markets
Such consumer pressure is influencing entities to follow the consumer demand and the dollar.
It’s merely consumer choice theory 101—people in the U.K. are purchasing drugs via the dark web for the similar reasons why people buy goods from online stores such as eBay.
Such reasons include convenience, product and seller ratings, and a variety of choices.
The darknet drug market is estimated to be worth $300 million, much smaller compared to the global drug market, which is estimated to be worth around $500 billion.
Even so, out of 3 million Brits, a quarter of them who take illicit drugs acquire them from the dark web. This makes them among world’s biggest buyers of drugs via the dark web.
But in order to tap in this market, old and new vendors need to come up with innovative ways to capture new customers as well as retain older clients.
Moreover, it is relatively challenging for newer vendors to get established since numbers have shown that 95 percent of transactions in darknet markets are done by around 5 percent of the vendors.
In the end, one might just say that these suppliers are trying to take advantage of a trend in order to gain a competitive edge over their competition in a cut-throat market.
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