The first thing ever sold on the internet was a bag of weed

Posted on May 20 2016

With the advent of the deep web and the illicit black markets that came with them, buying drugs over the internet was incredibly easy from about 2012-2014. It was the second stage of wild west days of the internet, the great expansion in net freedom that had only been seen once before in the early nineties. 

Buying drugs on the internet is not a particularly new thing though. The first thing ever bought or sold on the internet was a bag of weed. In John Markoff 's 2005 book What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (even the book's title is from a hoary old Jefferson Airplane track) he reveals that the world's first online transaction was a drug deal:

“In 1971 or 1972, Stanford students using Arpanet accounts at Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory engaged in a commercial transaction with their counterparts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before Amazon, before eBay, the seminal act of e-commerce was a drug deal. The students used the network to quietly arrange the sale of an undetermined amount of marijuana.”

It’s unsurprising that people have long used the internet to buy and sell drugs. Weed is a commodity like any other, and the internet makes it easier to to find people who want to buy or sell it. 

Now, legal states boast websites that have dispensaries and delivery options. The future is here, and the future is buying weed online. When something becomes so ubiquitous that it is everywhere, it’s impossible to deny the fact that its use is widespread and pushes us towards further deregulation and legalisation. 

Perhaps soon we’ll even be able to get our weed delivered with our pizza. 



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