As cannabis is becoming gradually more accepted as a legal and effective drug for treating a variety of conditions, more and more people are looking to purchase it online. However, those who have never done this before need to know the facts before they jeopardize their safety or freedom. Even with app/web-based weed delivery/purchase websites, the actual act of purchasing any sort of scheduled drug like marijuana can result in serious legal consequences. You’ve been warned.
The first online transaction was actually a weed deal, and there are whole communities describing and reviewing vendors of cannabis online. A good example of a cannabis (and other drug) community is the Darknet Markets subreddit. The darknet is another name for Tor-based .onion websites which allow for supposedly anonymous purchase of goods, virtual and physical. It is a somewhat complicated process, and it’s very easy to slip up and not cover your tracks properly, just ask Russ Ulbricht of Silk Roads infamy. Following you will find a quick guide to the basic do’s and don’ts of purchasing weed online.
Do: Check for legal medical or recreational dispensaries in your area. The safest and best way to buy Cannabis online is from a legal, licensed dispensary. In Colorado or Washington, where recreational use of cannabis use is legal, ordering weed can be as easy as ordering a pizza, with sites like Winterlife.com in Washington offering to deliver orders as quickly as your local Domino’s. If medical marijuana is available in your state, chances are that there will be a dispensary or service like Eazeup that you can order online and arrange to pick up from. Check whether you’ll need a patient form, referral from a doctor and a medical marijuana card before ordering.
Don’t: Just click on an advertisement on a site or in a comments section, no matter how professional it looks. The market in buying cannabis is hot right now, and that means it will attract people trying to scam you. Scams are predictably prevalent when scammers know that it’s difficult for an individual to report an incident to the police. Even if you’re buying from someone who’s not looking to scam you outright, there’s no guarantee as to the quality of what your buying – it could be an extremely weak strain sold as something more potent, or more dangerously have other things with it. Don’t go with craigslist, it’s possibly dangerous and law enforcement crawls it like flies.
Do: Ask friends, both on and offline for recommendations. If you know someone who smokes, why not ask them what their experience of buying weed online has been? The best result is them telling you a great reliable place to go to buy it, at worst you’ll get a story that tells you what to avoid.
Don’t: If you’re in an area where marijuana is illegal, don’t just order it in the mail without checking how it will be delivered – especially for larger orders. In January a Pennsylvania woman was arrested for ordering a box of marijuana after police were tipped off that she was receiving them. If you can, check with the seller to see how it will be delivered, and if by mail make sure that they’re taking precautions to ensure you and they are unlikely to end up getting a visit from the police.
Do: Start with the minimum order. This is common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people discover a website and then make a large order. Even if you’ve found what you think is a reputable site who can deliver you your cannabis, it’s unwise to make a $200 order. Start with the minimum, check that everything works and that you’re happy with the product before making your actual required order.
Don’t: Make huge orders at all if you can help it. It may seem like a great idea to buy as much as you can with one order that will keep you in weed for a while but it’s a terrible idea. Why? For several reasons. Firstly prosecution is far more likely and the penalties more severe (distribution vs posession) if you are arrested with it – either due to a problem with your order, or because you’re unlucky enough to be caught with it in your daily life. Secondly, if for whatever reason your order goes wrong that’s an awful lot of money to lose. Even if offers on larger amounts are tempting, it’s best to get only what you think you’ll need.
Do: Use the best security online security practices for anonymity. For example, Windows or Mac is discouraged, and a linux-based operating system like Tails. A comprehensive how-to and links can be found on the darknetmarket faq. Get a separate debit account with a card for your transactions or use one with just a small balance. Alternatively use bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies. This might seem like a hassle, but is a fairly sensible precaution when buying anything sketchy, not just weed online. At some point you’ll have to enter your details into a website – if the worst should happen and you become a victim of card fraud, this means that if someone tries to clean out your account there will be nothing to steal. Much better than the pain of having to explain to your card company or bank why your savings have vanished or you’ve run up a huge overdraft. Then, if you think someone is using your details you can just close the account.
Many of these items are practical common sense, but it’s important to remember when buying weed online that it’s best to be as safe as you can possibly be.