4.4.4 Dealers, A Different Perspective

Dealers, A Different Perspective #

Six degrees of separation embraces the proposition that everyone is connected to everyone else on earth in six or fewer steps, via a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’. Here is a genuine question: how many steps are you away from someone who sells drugs?

Whoever you are, I believe that it is probably one or two, and an absolute maximum of three.

In stating this I am not referring to online purchases or the dark net markets, which provide drugs to many. I refer to typical face to face transactions.

If you read the earlier section detailing how many people use drugs, the sheer number, 250 million, provides a clue as to how many drug sellers there must be in the world.

The obvious implication is that the vast majority are regular members of the public, who pass small quantities to their friends: a few pills, some weed, a gram of cocaine, etc. They tend to be fairly ordinary people in the main, who simply use and share social and psychoactive materials with those they are close to or have a relationship with. Indeed, as suggested above, you will almost certainly have friends who either sell or share themselves, or who know someone who does.

As far as I am aware, I don’t actually know a drug seller personally, which probably under-qualifies me to write this section. However, I am pretty sure that I know a few people who do know a drug seller. Remarkably, they are neither violent thugs nor gangsters. This will also apply to the sellers they know.

The fundamental truth of the situation is that most drug vendors will form a cross section of the population. There will be good people, bad people, and everything in between.


The media perspective, however, as pushed relentlessly on to the public, is that anyone selling a drug is the scum of the earth (unless it is a state-sanctioned drug such as alcohol and tobacco), and that they are even lower than you are as a drug user. This propagandistic and truth distorting construct of blame serves a variety of the usual interests, but as misrepresentations usually do, it comes at a high cost.

When labels such as drug pusher and drug smuggler are routinely attached to the suffering of addicts, for example, they take a life of their own, and become terms of abuse and gross stigmatisation.

People feed upon them, and tend to create pictures of those accused of vending or transporting which bear little resemblance to reality. Rationality and logic invariably cease to apply.

With respect to this, two international drug cases spring to mind, both of which pertain to Australia. They demonstrate what can happen when society allows propaganda and generic character assassination to consume reality and truth.


Schapelle Corby was convicted of smuggling 4.2kg of cannabis into Indonesia in 2005. She subsequently languished in a third world prison for almost 10 years, despite evidence which conclusively proved her innocence having been published on the Internet years before she was finally released on parole.

This was a politically charged high profile case, shaped by self-interest expediency relating to the hugely contentious privatisation of Sydney airport to political donors Macquarie Bank, and to the long term involvement of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in criminal and political activities. The spectre of foreign policy appeasement also played a role, as fact based reporting was replaced by tabloid trivia, gross misrepresentation and outright fiction.

Off-the-record ministerial briefings set the ball rolling, and the juggernaut of gutter journalism did the rest, renaming her “convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby” via every reference. Schapelle Corby was ruthlessly smeared and openly vilified at every turn, and she still is, as I write this page. Contextually, the usual script with respect to drug cases was followed to the letter, regardless of how many lies had to be peddled, or how much suffering she and her family had to endure.

Not all Australians bought into the deceit and slander

Not all Australians bought into the deceit and slander

Once the picture had been painted, the facts of her case became irrelevant. The flagrant abuses in Indonesia were long forgotten, and stereotypical characters replaced the real flesh and blood left behind. Presenting newly acquired evidence became impossible, as independent researchers were simply derided as conspiracy theorists, and subsequently ignored. The die had been cast and her status as a human being had been revoked.

I was told on my visit that this particular courtroom was chosen for Schapelle Corby’s trial so that the windows along the sides could be rented (for suitable bribes) to Australian media crews. Her civil, legal and human rights were in fact breached throughout the entire process (with material evidence of her innocence also being withheld by Australian government ministers).

Having produced countless lies and smears about her over the years, the Australian media were there to further torment her on her release, again putting her safety at risk. Subsequent to this she was forced to stay in Indonesia on parole for three further years, and gagged under threat of re-imprisonment should she tell her story. During this period, she was stalked and harassed at every turn by the same media, whilst the fiction and fabrications continued unabated.


The second case relates to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who, again in Indonesia, were convicted of smuggling heroin in 2006. The two Australian citizens, who admitted their guilt, were sentenced to death, and were eventually executed under the most barbaric of circumstances on 29th April 2015.

Whilst in prison, the two men had totally reformed, had re-invented themselves, and via a range of programs, had helped to transform the lives of countless other prisoners. The governor of Kerobokan Prison described them as model prisoners, as their work had become widely known, and they had touched so many lives.

Despite this, they were brutally murdered to make a political point. They were tied to a post and shot dead, whilst singing Amazing Grace to give strength to others who were slaughtered alongside them.

Another feature of this case was that the Australian Federal Police (yes, again) had wilfully tipped off the Indonesians, with full knowledge of the likely consequences. They could very easily have made the arrests as the men returned to Australia, but instead, acted as judge, jurors, and executioners, and have never been called to account for this.

During the controversy surrounding the executions, members of the public campaigned to save their lives, with thousands of posts and messages appearing across social media. The following, posted by a former WA heroin dealer, presents the position of vendors in terms which are almost entirely absent from mainstream coverage:


February 14

I feel compelled to write my opinion on heroin and people that use it, this opinion is based on 45yrs in the drug scene culture. I admit to being a high school dropout so excuse the grammar I’ve been tossing around in my mind whether to bother as it is a huge task for me, as I type slowly with one finger. I don’t know if it will be read but I thought if I don’t make the effort to try and gather more support for Andrew and Myuran from the Bali 9 as it would haunt me for the rest of my life. So hear goes.

Yesterday I was on another site debating the boys plight, I posted a comment on my thoughts after reading a post I didn’t agree with as it was saying they should be shot, the guy came back with a reply, “I know where your coming from”, but that he was an ex junkie and he had suffered so much. For a few seconds I thought okay, then a crack started to appear in my mind, and as more comments came up agreeing with him, he got bolder, spewing up more of his boo hoo poor me stuff, then joined by more agreement with him. Then another guy says yeah all drug dealers and paedophiles should be shot. Now this really pissed me off, to compare a drug dealer who actually doesn’t force anyone to do anything, and the thing that does, its an insult to the child victim of the assault.

So in the heroin world you have recreational users, you have junkies and then you have snivelling junkie, they are all complicit. They enter an agreement with the dealer, I want it, you get it for me and I’ll pay you big money, now everyone knows this is a criminal agreement. Human nature being what it is, very greedy, there’s always

someone willing to fill the need of the user to various degrees (and its like who came first the user or the dealer, the chicken or the egg). So in the criminal world there’s supposed to be a code of conduct “death before dishonour”, honour among thieves". If you break this code there’s names for you like rat, scum, give up, dog.

So now we have the snivelling junkie, who is solely responsible for the demonization of heroin, who entered the agreement with the dealer, now wanting out. The reason could be he may have grown up, had enough of the lifestyle, got caught, whatever,now turning on his accomplice in the agreement made. He hasn’t gone to the police, but worse he’s running around telling anyone that will listen his poor me stories. He’s a sniveller through and through, always someone else’s fault, can’t take responsibility for his own actions. He goes to court, the snivelling junkie will blame the drugs for whatever he’s done, knowing he’ll get a lighter sentence, you even have instances of snivelling junkies who have never used heroin saying they have to get the lower sentence.

So all this bullshit has demonized heroin more than it should be in the public eye, and in the eyes of family and supporters of the snivelling junkie, and its the dealer that suffers the consequence of these lies. This is what’s happened to Andrew and Myuran, sure they were stupid and naive to do what they did, but there’s no way they are ringleaders, they’re only one link in the chain of dealers (probably the lowest) which can include lawyers, doctor’s, police, and every other walk of life, it’s human greed, it’s everywhere. But if you think they deserve to die you have to include every other link in the chain, and I’m sure that most people would have family and friends in the chain.

Let’s have a closer look at heroin, it was in most cough mixtures up till the fifties. We know it’s made from opium, which has been around for hundreds of years, war’s have been waged over it, people from all over the world have wanted it for there own various reasons. It’s used by the thousands of kilo’s in the medical field, as well as its synthetic derivative pethidine as a painkiller.

There’s a public belief that one hit of heroin and your hooked, this is not true, you would have to use it dozens of times continuously. I also believe with a big number of overdoses the user has a death wish, sad but true, other wise there would be millions more. People use heroin for various lengths of time and stop, when users are jailed most have no choice but to stop (no methadone), they go through a few day’s of discomfort. There are millions of people world wide using heroin with no problems (except to the hip pocket), maybe family members, friends, workmates, from all walks of life, and unless they tell you or they get caught you wouldn’t know.

I would have thought all the users out there would be using this opportunity to express your desire for heroin to be freely available. If this was so it would stop users that have to commit crimes or sell there bodies to fund their use, it could be smoked, or swallowed, which would result in zero overdoses, its mostly only injected because of the price.

So what I’m saying is if your one of the people baying for these boy’s blood, I’m hoping what I’ve written might soften your heart, and we can bring these boy’s and the rest of the Australians rotting in some Asian prison home alive, where they belong. They’ve done the time they would have received in Australia. Don’t be swayed by the snivelling junkie, who if they had any decency in them should be shouting the loudest to bring them home, your the ones that created the temptation, now’s the time to redeem yourselves.

I’ll leave it there for now, and apologize to anyone who has lost a loved one , if I have seemed insensitive, I haven’t wanted to, I just want these boy’s home alive, I’m still grieving Barlow and Chambers, and Tuong Van Nguyen. I hope I have achieved a change of heart in someone, if you think what I have written could help these boy’s please share.

Thank you for listening.

[Permission for inclusion was granted by the poster]

When the crunch came, and the preparations for the executions commenced, Australian Prime Minster, Tony Abbott, opened with “What I’m not going to do, though, is jeopardise the relationship with Indonesia.” The green light could not have been more obvious. Indeed, on 16th January 2015, the ABC cited the Indonesian Attorney-General: “Mr Prasetyo said the Australian Government had not pressured Indonesia to grant clemency

From the very start the media position was patently clear, with Rupert Murdoch’s stable predictably setting the tone in February 2006:

In the run up to the executions, similar sentiments were all too common. Indeed, the state’s own broadcaster, the ABC, commissioned a text poll in which 52% of the respondents supported the deaths of the two men. This was quickly picked up by the Indonesian government and used as justification.

And so it continued:

With such signals coming out of Australia, it is little wonder that the Widodo regime was emboldened enough to fulfil its brutal intentions.

These two examples illustrate a common feature of so many drug related cases. The interests of those caught up in them are automatically of secondary importance to those of every other party, including the police and the politicians.

Even worse, the human rights of those accused of selling drugs are often revoked, usually with media and political support. Regardless of the specific circumstances of any individual case, civilised norms tend to go out of the window, and a well rehearsed farce of media fuelled public indignation routinely ensues. Reality is frequently suspended.

The public are culturally conditioned to have absolutely no concern or compassion for anyone who has been damned with those fateful terms: drug dealer, drug smuggler or drug pusher.


Whilst these may be high profile cases, there are countless examples at the other end of the scale. I recall one recent case involving contaminated ecstasy pills at a summer music festival, with a couple of youngsters being media-assassinated and hunted down for innocently having bought a few for their group.

Lives are regularly and frequently ruined on the basis of socially selling and sharing materials which are not only in general use, but are often benign and relatively harmless. A modern day witch hunt of stigmatisation and hostile pursuit persists unabated, against members of the public who are in most cases as ordinary and law abiding as you or I.

This misrepresentation of whole swathes of society is culturally embedded in western society. One would imagine that future historians will look back on this period as one of crass ignorance and brutal intolerance.

Drug dealers are people too, and human rights should apply to everyone.


Even though vendors do not usually resemble the media presentation, when purchasing drugs illegally it is sensible to use common sense and observe a number of safety precautions. These will normally be dictated by circumstance, but generally, if trading in person, it is wise to have full cognisance of your physical security, particularly if you are purchasing from a stranger.

Don’t ignore your instincts, and never allow your enthusiasm for the product to cloud your judgement. Consider whether you would place yourself in a particular situation if you were purchasing, for example, a consumer product or a food item. Equally, whatever your relationship with the vendor, the substance you obtain should always be subject to the harm reduction measures outlined in the first section of this book.

Whilst drug dealers are hardly likely to intentionally poison their customers, it must be borne in mind that they are usually one part of a chain, having obtained the material elsewhere. Often they will not have any more certainty regarding the safety or the purity of the drug than you do. Never make assumptions.


It was in the warmth of a perfect summer afternoon, as I lounged smoking Amsterdam’s finest in Rembrandtplein with a colleague, that a short cropped man of east European origin approached us. He had been chatting to a group of fellow people-watchers, who were also toking, a few yards away on the grass.

He introduced himself politely with a bit of small talk, and then offered a toke of his own joint. “It’s called sputnik” he volunteered, stating that it was Russian and was very strong indeed.

I obliged, and passed it back to him, whilst my friend abstained. It was indeed strong.

Would you like some ecstasy or cocaine?” he asked.

I responded with the obvious answer (which was no), explaining that I was due to leave the following morning and didn’t want a heavy night. We continued to chat for a few minutes, largely about the drug scene, and he then departed to his next port of call, another group who were sitting further to our left.

That incident would never have been recalled, if we hadn’t seen him again a few hours later.

As we sat by a canal, again chilling, and sipping a drink, he walked slowly past. Whilst we saw him coming, he didn’t notice our particular table. As he came closer his eyes eventually focused upon us. He momentarily froze, as he tried to recollect. Then, startled, he darted off at speed.

Given that he was smoking a paranoia-inducing strain of cannabis his logic had clearly flowed along the lines of:

Drug selling – From earlier - They are following me – They are cops!

The moral of the story isn’t just that dealers are susceptible to the same drug effects as everyone else, it is also that you shouldn’t use even a benign plant like cannabis when you are relying on sound judgement to do your job safely and sensibly.


The darknet, accessed via the Tor browser, emerged as a major source of drugs during the legal high years. Individual markets have come and gone, with The Silk Road undoubtedly being the most famous. Following its demise others appeared to successively take the mantle of the most popular.

Empire became the largest darknet market circa 2019

Empire became the largest darknet market circa 2019

White House Market found increased popularity after the fall of Empire

White House Market found increased popularity after the fall of Empire

Markets, of course, operate via the use of cryptocurrencies, and critically, support encryption/PGP communication between buyers and sellers. *Most eventually fall victim to seizure or exit scam. At time of writing, only a handful of major players have closed gracefully and in a controlled manner.

Markets which have existed during the years in which I wrote this book, in no particular order, include: Dream Market, Wall Street Market, Cannazon, Nightmare Market, Empire Market, AlphaBay, Torrez Market, The Versus Project, Monopoly Market, White House Market, DarkOde, World Market, ASAP Market, The Majestic Garden, Silk Road 2, Agora, Hansa, Cannahome, Tor Market, Pandora, Dark Market, Hydra, Invictus, Berlusconi Market, TradeRoute, Cryptonia Market, Icarus Market, Aurora Market, Tochka Market , Tor2door Market, Kingdom Market, Cartel Market, DarkFox Market, Incognito Market , Avaris, Samsara Market, Apollon Market, Valhalla, Evolution.

Around these markets a social media type infrastructure developed, which enabled user interaction regarding both the markets themselves and the individual vendors operating within them, many of whom also participated.

Over recent years the most significant such platform has been Dread, which offers a Reddit-like interface and which embraces a substantial number of related topics, including, to its credit, personal safety and harm reduction.

Reddit itself, and occasionally other clearnet platforms, do sometimes provide space for darknet discussion, but this is almost always limited in nature due to legal, regulatory and other constraints.

Finally, it is worth stressing that the use of darknet markets inevitably comes with a degree of risk, which includes the obvious issues of potential detection by law enforcement and the possibility of being scammed. It should go without saying that should you choose to take this path these are matters which require significant consideration, research and preparation.