Aussie Mum In Anti-Bitcoin Crusade After Son's Death

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This is a tragic story. Anna Skelly came home from holiday with her husband to find her son dead on her bed after what looks to be a bad reaction to cocaine. Cocaine which he reportedly acquired from an online drug marketplace, financed by Bitcoin transactions. Now the Sydney mother is going on a crusade against the crypto-currency, calling on the Federal Government to ban it in Australia.

Anna Skelly has launched her own change.org petition to have Bitcoin banned in Australia.

"Tony Abbott," the petition starts, "commence an inquiry into Bitcoin - it's protecting drug dealers."

Rather than mine some Bitcoins to go spend online, Daniel reportedly paid money into the bank account of Cryptospend: a sort of proxy service for buying Bitcoin-related products.

Cryptospend allows you to deposit real money into an account and place an order saying what you want from an online store before the site from which you purchased it delivers the items straight to your door. In this case, that delivery was drugs.

Following the transaction history, Mrs Skelly is calling for the anonymity behind Bitcoin transactions to be removed, or for the currency to be banned in Australia altogether:

"On the 5th November 2013 my 21 year old son purchased drugs online by making a cash deposit at NAB Warriewood, into an account called Cryptospend, as instructed by of Cryptospend Australia Pty Ltd, Brisbane. This company withdrew from the U.S. following regulatory pressure and has now established in Australia. It is marketing its services ostensibly as a bitcoin currency exchange service via the web.
My son made the payment to Cryptospend on the Tuesday and on Friday he received alduterated [sic] drugs delivered to our home in express post envelopes which killed him.
Despite insisting that his business only operates a currency exchange service for bitcoin, I believe Mr Jeremy West is happy to also profit from facilitating the online drug trade and uses push marketing in emails. It is only who knows to which dealer’s account my son’s payment actually went."

Concerned parents make the world go around in a society largely scared of technology it doesn't understand, but I'm worried that Mrs. Skelly is pointing the finger at the wrong villain.

Sure, Bitcoin is used in some of the darker circles of the web to finance the purchase of drugs, guns and even contract killings, but so is real-world money. Real-world money is used to pay everyone from gun runners, corrupt bureaucrats and drug dealers; all of whom arguably do more harm to the world right now than Bitcoin does.

The real villain in the tale is the online drug marketplaces like Silk Road which sell these illicit substances to anyone with a Bitcoin wallet. In the same way the police crack down on dealers on a street corner, law enforcement agencies are chasing down the owners of drug bazaars on the internet. It just takes time.

Treasurer Joe Hockey was reported in The Canberra Times as saying that he "understood the basis" of the petition and campaign to ban Bitcoin in Australia, but said that any regulation against Bitcoin needed to function at an international level rather than a Federal level.

We don't want to trivialise the tragic death of poor Daniel; we just want to make sure the right people go down for it. [Canberra Times]

Image via Flickr


Comments

    Ban cash too, obviously.

      Make sure you also ban alleyways and unemployed dudes from Granville in dark Audis.

      Also, credit cards, mirrors, rolled up c notes and the name 'charlie'. Just to be safe. For the children.

      Fark was just thinking the same thing. Might as well ban cars too. People die from those. Ban cracks in the pavement. Ban suicide too. People seem to die from suicide a fair bit.

        Suicide is illegal.

          I've always found this hilarious.

          What are they gonna do, fine a dead person? Hahaha.

      Was going to be my point, I've bought plenty of cocaine using cash, since the government made the cash, better ban the government.

      This is a sad story. Losing someone always is. However let's be realistic here:

      How about perhaps educate your son about the dangers of drugs??? Because that's what killed him not bitcoin. Lets face it if he was after cocaine he was going to get it either way. It just so happens that on this occasion (surely not his first trying drugs either) the dealer had requested bitcoin as payment. How is it different to cash? You meet someone give them cash and deal is done. How is cash traceable? It is less traceable than bitcoin as all bitcoin transactions are at least recorded on the blocklchain!! There is a lot of finger pointing done here and at the wrong things. She has no Idea what bitcoin is and had a knee jerk reaction that it was bought with bitcoin so ban it. How about try ban the stuff getting into the country or the drugs themselves as that is what did the damage...? If you ban bitcoin you have not removed the problem only a way of paying for the problem... As a parent she should be taking a long hard look at herself about what she could have done better allowing her son to get involved in drugs in the first place. When I was growing up my parents made it clear, you or do drugs (or even smoke) and you can find a another house to live in and new parents. Well guess what, I have been involved in bitcoin for years and it has not killed me but hey I didn't do drugs either!

      Bitcoin is a fantastic technological achievement and the good completely outweighs the bad. Regardless of what new technology or invention there is, there is there is always going to be a small component of it being misused for criminal activity, fraud etc.

    OMG! Something new and I don't understand how it's exactly the same as the real world item.... BAN IT!

    This is really sad.
    She's pieced together the sequence of events that lead to her sons death and picked the point she thinks will make a difference to other people. She obviously doesn't know where the drugs came from or how he found out about it, and the only part of this transaction she can "point at" is the fact it used bitcoin.

    She's obviously very wrong to make the connection she has, but you can hardly fault her for not spending 3 months trying to understand it all. In her case, no bitcoins would mean he would still be alive.

      Bitcoins or not, the kid was still probably going to experiment with drugs at some stage...

      Edit: read the related article. the kid bought $900 worth of coke. How in the hell do you get that much sent through the mail? Also, cheers to the article for listing two sites to go to for obtaining said drugs.

      Last edited 13/01/14 11:40 am

        It wouldn't be much more than a few grams, coke is not cheap.

          Seriously? Thanks for the info. Stopped using drugs a hell of a long time ago and never bought anything like coke on this side of the equator, so that price tag came as quite a shock.

            I've never tried it but I know people that do and it is like $200-$300 for the value of a few lines I think (I might even be being generous, maybe it is just 1 line).

            Yeah a mate was going on about the price of it the other day and I was all "You're a fucken idiot for spending that much on drugs"

          Last I heard the price of coke, in Belgium, you would get a gram for about €50 if you're a nobody, and €25 if you knew the dealer.

          Since the time I heard that, I also heard that coke (and weed) got more expensive, so make it €30 or whatever.

          15 to 30 grams of coke through the mail sounds insane to me.

          Either way, there would probably be less stupid overdoses if drugs were legal, screened, properly filtered, and available with an instruction manual.

      No bitcoins just mean he would have got one of his mates to get one of his mates to score it for him. Or did no one ever buy drugs before 2011?

        Buying Coke from overseas with Bitcoin is way safer than buying local. Aussie coke is so stepped on, (cut with fillers) it's downright dangerous. Silk road in most cases showed pics of most products under a microscope so you could see what you getting, also user reviews helped make it safer too. He probably just did too much, $900 worth would have got him 4-5 grams which is enough for about 10 nights out. If he was new to the drug and did anymore than 2 grams then that would explain his predicament.

          I am his mother and there is a pack of brainless idiots in here. $300 gets one gram and his friends were sharing it and he did one line BUT you are right - the fucking powder was cut with really ugly stuff. So before you all go off at me - let me remind you - you have no idea of the facts. The newspaper said there were lines on his desk. Bullshit. Also he didn't do anywhere near two grams or even one so why don't you all just stop speculating? I know what happened and it was cut and he was 21. He had been experimenting with his friends and thousands of you bastards have likely done more than he did and he was 21 - so for all the smartarses in here no he didn't do too much. It was cut with something ugly and lets not hope it happens to one of you.
          Dans mother

          No you are just another fool. I had a procession of my sons friends tell me it is safer buying online. Do you know what you are? (who think this?) IDIOTS.
          Do you realise the world has high unemployment rates in many countries and it only takes one lab rat who deals in caustic chemicals to realise that a cleaning agent can be passed off as a white powder - he can set up on some filthy online site for a week or two - sell his toxic crap to suckers across the globe - concoct his own user ratings (the online drug sites don't care who they accept as sellers - there is no quality control and no regulation and it is the wild west in narco and other trafficking) so if any fool here believes it is safer buying online - then you need to read the news and get some education because clearly you are deluding yourselves and don't know how the real world of online drug sellers works. Just because it looks like amazon, smells like amazon doesn't mean it is amazon - there are no warranties and no protection. Try at your own peril as my son did.

      yep, she will probably back off soon, a change.org petition doesn't take much work to get rolling but it pays to extend her a bit of sympathy and human understanding despite how wrong her proposition is.

    Reminds me of that news story earlier this week about a pimp suing Nike. Because Nike didn't warn him his shoes could be used as a weapon. Shoes he used to stomp on someone head repeatedly.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/01/nike_sued_by_portland_pimp_for.html

    Last edited 13/01/14 11:37 am

      Lol that article is a joke. This means that everything will need a label on it that it could be used as a weapon or is potentially harmful. I could use ANYTHING as a weapon.

      Nike should reply with "Get fucked".

      It also means that every other shoe company will have to label their shoes... JUST in case this passes and Nike do put a warning on their shoes.

      Last edited 13/01/14 2:16 pm

        They can't reply like that, it's not corporate enough. The preferred response with a similar sentiment is usually to refer the person to Arkell v Pressdram (British legal case). I've had the genuine pleasure of using this once with an ex-employer.

      Yeah.

      That precedent reminds me of the fact he wasn't warned by the police that stomping someone's head could land the guy in jail regardless of his choice of footwear.

      Nike will enjoy the publicity!

    Governments killed 260 million of their own citizens in the 20th century alone
    BAN GOVERNMENTS!

      I also hear that a lot of people died in the Crusades.

      Should we ban religion then?

        Yes - but not just for that, many people are still dying due to religions and archaic beliefs.

    Surely banning the currency used for purchasing the already banned drugs would make a difference...

    Last edited 13/01/14 11:55 am

    Knee jerk reactions on both sides of the fence don't help. Calling this woman an idiot, moron, or otherwise for trying to find out why her son died is just as ignorant as someone who demands product X or service Y be banned because they don't understand it.

      I don't agree.

      Just the same as people should inform those (who clearly cannot sing) auditioning for the stupid singing competition shows on T.V. that they cannot sing, people should inform this lady that she is an idiot.

      Just because she does not understand the situation and cannot be bothered to inform herself, why should the rest of society be impacted? Sure I feel for her, but I cannot fathom how her ignorance can be excused. If she wants to find out why her son died she should do the research properly and pass information gathered to relevant authorities. Just doing half the research and thinking bah this bitcoin stuff MUST be the cause because I don't really give a shit to fully investigate the situation is moronic.

      If her son slit his wrists, would she be calling on the Government to ban knives??

      This is very reminiscent of P2P. I do not take drugs nor do I use bitcoins; though I do see the 'potential value' of them in the future. Similarly, I do not P2P either but I can see the potential (legal) value of P2P.

      She is a moron and her son was clearly a moron. I for one, hope the moronic families stupidity does not eventually impact the rest of us.

        If you really felt for her, you would not be writing such trash about her and her late son on a public forum.

        Someone needs to tell you how disgusting you are. As far as I'm concerned selling tainted drugs is equivalent to murder. Why is it her responsibility to conduct the investigation into her son's murder? Did you really think that through?

        You are probably the kind of manchild who says things like "guns don't kill people, people kill people".

        If you don't think bitcoin was part of the problem here then you are really are delusional, or stubborn in your thoughts. Have you tried drugs? It might even help you be less of a #%$@.

        Bitcoins facilitated this young mans death in several ways. Purchasing cocaine on the internet is easier than IRL. Unless you know someone who knows someone, you have no chance. Over the internet however, all you need is a search engine and a bit of patience. The anonymity of the transaction also increases the chance that drugs will be of poor quality or as in this case, deadly.

        The perpetrators of this crime used bitcoin instead of a regular bank account for a reason. If this article was about a pharmaceutical company using black currency to launder proceeds from selling tainted medication to the poor, would you still be pushing the same line?

          Yeah look while I feel for the parents unfortunately I presume he willingly bought the drugs and willingly took the drugs? While I believe that the person/s responsible for distribution take a portion of the blame. The young man made the choice to buy and take illegal drugs from a random online illegal drug retailer. You always run the risk of purchasing fatal doses. Bitcoin part of the problem... I have to disagree. That's the same as saying cash or credit is at fault for IRL drug buys. Bitcoin is not anonymous and there are online drug bazaars where you can drop cash via western union etc. which arguably would be more anonymous.

          1. no one forced that kid to buy and take drugs. I am pretty sure all of us who grew up in the modern age knows the risks of drugs and you really can't go through a day without being told at least once that drugs are dangerous. that kid made his own choice to do it and he paid the price for it. to most of us who chose not to take drugs, that seems like a stupid thing to do and it is fair to call him stupid.
          2. you don't need to be an investigator to be able to use simple logic to figure out that the people responsible for this kid's death are the drug dealers, the kid and the kid's parents who failed to bring him up right, not the currency used to buy said drugs.
          3. guns are objects that people use to kill people. the guns are innocent but the people are not. that said, i do not support gun ownership as guns have very little purpose other than killing things. not going to have the argument here.
          4. bitcoins did not facilitate this kid's death. the kid and the drugs dealer did. he could have used cash to buy drugs if he wanted to. the ease of access to do something you are not suppose to is not an excuse, there is something called self-control.
          5. just so you know, bankers help drug dealers launder cash as well you know and it is a well established fact. I don't see the bankers ever get put into prison, let alone reactions like this.

          Last edited 13/01/14 3:39 pm

          Calm down sunshine. Don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

          She trashed herself by putting up the change.org petition BLAMING bitcoin for her son's INABILITY to make the CORRECT DECISIONS.

          I DO feel for her as I too have lost someone due to an overdose. Though I BLAME HIM for purchasing an ILLEGAL substance and putting too much of it IN HIS ARM! Yes I wish the dealer[s] was found and brought to JUSTICE though he/she did not FORCE it into his arm, HE DID! Do I BLAME the AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR for HIS mistake?? Of coarse not.

          The reserch bit was in reference to the OP I replied too. Thats why the word 'IF' was used. Personally I wouldn't, and I didn't in my case as it is a world that I DO NOT want to get into. We have FULLY TRAINED officials to do that for me. But hey, don't let me try to stop you from taking it out of context!

          GUNS are a totally DIFFERENT subject. VICTIMS don't go out LOOKING for a gun to SHOOT into their arms. A CRIMINAL kills a VICTIM with a gun. Using that analogy just shows you DO NOT understand the situation, AT ALL!

          Have I used drugs? NONE OF YOUR F#$&ING BUSINESS SUNSHINE! Though after seeing what it has done to a segment of my family. NO, I DO NOT DO DRUGS and I am NOT about to START NOW!

          BITCOIN is the currency used. He made the wrong decision NOT the BITCOIN. As others have stated, there are other ways of obtaining that Sh!7 on the web without using bitcoins.

          P.s. Those who verbally bash others to make a point obviously have already lost the argument. Guess what? YOU'VE LOST!

            Yeesh. Let's give that Caps Lock button a rest, guys.

              Actually, I used the SHIFT button. ;) lol

              Sorry, but these issues bring out memories and feeling that are frustrating when holier than thou types attempt to tell me I don't understand these situations.

              Will do my best to refrain from both the CAPS and SHIFT buttons in future. Apologies!

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pdWAcK6Eh8

              I'm sorry Luke but you are partly responsible for the vitriol here. Using the word "crusade" to describe this poor woman's plight is a not-so-subtle attempt to discredit her from the very beginning - a Year 9 English student would pick up on that in a second.

              So Fitzy wants to talk about facts. Ok, lets start!

              1. You mention several times in your article that she is trying to get bitcoin banned. Have you read the petition? I assumed you had until I read it myself. She never mentions wanting it banned anywhere! What she does want is for it to be regulated like regular currency.

              A few quotes, seeing as you're all too lazy to read for yourselves:

              "Other countries are waking up to the threat posed by an unregulated currency and taking action. We need to urgently do the same in Australia before more lives are lost."

              "If the same laws had been applied to bitcoin as applies to regular currency, it would be easier for the police to find the people who did this."

              " And when I told the police about it, they told me they don’t have the resources to fight it."

              "I’m asking the government to regulate bitcoin and prevent its use as a malicious market."

              2. You also said Daniel died "after what looks to be a bad reaction to cocaine." Here I can assume that you didn't read the Canberra Times article you linked to either. Here is a quote for you:

              "Autopsy results are not complete and toxicology tests show non-lethal levels of cocaine. However, it was cut down with the potentially lethal agent Levamisole."

              3. To the fellow above who mentioned Western Union, it is not arguably more anonymous. Western Union transfers are monitored and bound by the regulations of the countries in which they operate. To collect a cash transfer, you need to provide identification (in Australia 100pts). To collect it online, you must use a regular bank. They also maintain records of all their transactions. As far as I know Australian banks do not allow pseudonymous accounts. Bitcoin companies on the other hand do allow pseudonymous transactions and advertise the fact that all the data pertaining to the transaction is deleted once said transaction is complete.

              Anyway I'm off, have fun Internet Warriors!

              Last edited 13/01/14 10:11 pm

            "P.s. Those who verbally bash others to make a point obviously have already lost the argument. Guess what? YOU'VE LOST!"

            Hahaha mate, that's what you've been doing!

            P.S. Oh noes! I lost tha internet :(

              I did not attack anyone here until you attacked me and I attempted to leave personal experience out of it until, again, you attacked me. In my first post, read it, I stated my point clearly as I have below, without attacking the person I replied too.

              You sir, have also proven yourself to be a moron. Are you on drugs??

              Come back village idiot, for entertains.

        I think there is a slight difference between the morality of whether someone should be allowed to perform bad singing and that of a fatal drug overdose, but that argument should be left for another time.

        Until we know the full story (if we ever will) how about easing up on the name calling of this woman. You argument fails as soon as name calling is involved. It was going well until you started degrading her.

          Not at all. This 'thing' has affected my family and I will say to anyone in my family that he WAS A MORON, to their face, as I have on many occasions. Do I still mourn? of coarse! Will I ease up on him? Or anyone else in my family who try to rewrite history?
          "He was such a model person of our society before he was taken away from us". Hell no! Bull#, he was a druggie that killed himself chasing a better "hit". In essence HE WAS A MORON!

          Hopefully people reading this who are down that rabbit hole (or considering it) READ THIS PROPERLY and save their family the cr2p that our family has gone through.

          If I sound heated, it is because I AM. I hate what he has done to us for his own selfishness! Do I blame intermediate steps between him and him killing himself? NO!

            Apart from the dealers of coarse, I do BLAME THEM!

            Wow, you're just a bundle of confused emotions, aren't you?

              Not at all mate.

              I am very specific in my feelings in fact.
              In a nutshell:
              Those that take drugs are morons, those that attempt to blame everything/everyone else for "losing" someone to drugs, is a moron. Clear and concise.

                I have lost 3 friends to Heroin and it's not a thing that is easy to go through as you know, I differ from you in my judgement of others but that's not issue here. People being people will always ask why when they loose someone and in some cases; yes their judgement may be impaired (in this case blaming BITCOINS) but instead of calling her a MORON or anyone that stood by and did nothing for him a MORON, help change the situation and try to correct misguided anger, and point it towards those who are really to blame <>

    This is just another situation of poor thinking when it comes to execution of the law. BIT COIN IS NOT >>> NOT <<< and I repeat... not anynomus. Every transaction is recorded between two people and is published on the internet. What the Authorities need to get strait is, finding the wallet address of where he purchased the drugs. Then use that address to find his customers. THEN SET THE BASTARD UP WHO KILLED THE KID!!! Shotty Police, Shotty News. Its like using this greeving mother to keep Governmental FIAT Currency.

      As soon as the terrible English came out, I knew there would eventually be a zomgfiatcurrency!@# in there somewhere.

    From an article I read in SMH, it was not the coke that killed the kid, but rather what it was cut with. It was not the first time he had used coke either.

    Rather than the mother targeting Bitcoin, which as we all appear to agree is a rather silly knee jerk reaction to something she doesn't understand, she should campaign the government to legalise drugs, therefore if her son did try drugs, he would have got a known quality of the substance, which if it was cut with something, would have been cut with benign substance that would be harmless, and therefore would probably not be dead today.

    Legalising drugs has several positive things:
    - Known quality, known ingredients = less deaths
    - No black market, since why by from the local dodgy dealer, when you can buy it legally from the local drug store
    - Drug addiction is treated as a health issue not a criminal issue
    - Taxes collected on drug purchases

    The whole war on drugs is a failure, and has caused many more deaths than it has saved, this is one example of a death that may have been saved had drugs been legal.

      To be fair there's an argument to be made for legalising comparatively harmless illicit drugs like marijuana or even some of the more benign party drugs, but stimulants like cocaine or amphetamines? That's going too far.

      I'd legalise the lower-level drugs, run it as a state-controlled industry with heavy taxation, and invest it back into the public healthcare system to treat people who don't turn into addicts.

        Is it going to far, though? Legalising drugs not only has the advantage of making drugs safer as a result of consistent quality of the drug, known doses, etc. but also the advantage of making the criminal system which currently ships and distributes drugs non-competitive. That isn't to say all those who sell drugs should go to gaol, or anything of the sort. However, drug distribution does support a criminal industry at higher levels.
        Note: I'm not sure whether legalising cocaine, amphetamines, etc would or would not be going to far. It would be a difficult decision to make because of the potential changes in cultural meaning of a drug with the changed availability, whether people would think that because it is 'legal' it is 'safe' (although clearly that isn't the case: see cigarettes and booze).
        Not that the book necessarily agrees with me, but you might find the book "Drugs - Without the Hot Air: Minimising the Harms of Legal and Illegal Drugs" by David Nutt interesting. I'm still working on it.

          Which is kind of my point - if people can't be trusted with alcohol, then I don't see why they should be trusted with a more potent substance like cocaine, or amphetamines. Coming from an emergency healthcare background, I'd much rather deal with a guy smoking weed than a guy suffering a psychostimulant-induced MI who is simultaneously flipping the hell out.

          There are some illicit drugs you shouldn't be taking because they pose a legitimate risk to health (not gateway-drug theories, actual physiological harm). I'd put the stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines in that category, as well as heroin.

            I'm not sure you can necessarily carry issues over from alcohol to non-alcohol drugs; particularly stimulants. My argument here is that alcohol is intoxicating, that there is a culture of overconsumption, and that the intoxicating effects impair the ability to actually track dose.
            In the case of stimulants, there are certainly impairments but I don't think they are impairments that are likely to lead to the kind of overconsumption problems we see with alcohol (although judgement problems with cocaine particularly are problematic).

            I can totally understand your preference for dealing with a quiet rather than aggressive and crazy patient. This does reflect a genuine issue that needs to be considered in drug policy.

            Certainly, there are also drugs which directly harm health. I am aware that long-term methamphetamine use leads to decreased grey matter in the brain (something resembling shriveling). Long term intensive MDMA use can lead to malformed serotonin producing neurons which can't actually produce serotonin and thus literally neurochemical imbalances. Long term heroin use doesn't seem so bad so long as the heroin is of good quality.

            One of the real challenges, I think, is disentangling the harm done by drugs which would itself be reduced with better and safer availability. The drugs themselves can be harmful, but highly variable dosing, combination with unsafe or dangerous compounds, and poor manufacture can cause much greater apparent harm which isn't harm from the drug per se but rather from the context of drug availability.

            The other challenge, of course, is that people who want drugs already get drugs and legalising marijuana isn't necessarily going to reduce the already-present use of cocaine.

            Don't get me wrong: I'm not certain that full drug liberalisation is the way to go, but I think there is a lot of aspects to it and that a lot of the discussion ignores realities like existing drug availability.

        It's worth thinking about the economics behind drugs, all of them.
        Now, lets take cocaine. Let's assume it is currently (as a black market item) at $100/gram. Part of that price is supply/ingredients, another component is risk attached due to the illegality.

        Lets go to the world of it being legal. It is now, lets say, $50 a gram.

        Lets go to the world of a legalised, regulated, and taxed market.

        It is back to $100/gram ($50/gram of which goes to the tax office). We spend less on policing, gain more tax revenue, spend some of the old policing money on doing QA on the quality of the product (stopping kids dying because of cocaine cut with questionable contents), and there's a large additional tax revenue line which can be put towards education, government run rehab programs etc.

        Now, given how easy it is already to get drugs (and based on evidence of other countries, such as portugal which has decriminalised a lot of their drugs) total drug use wouldn't increase significantly, but deaths associated with it would fall, and crime would fall, and people wouldn't be locked up for selling/buying/doing drugs.

        Now, obviously, the issue is determining whether banning any drug, outweighs the benefits of regulating and taxing it.

        That is where you would draw the line, and robust cost-benefit analysis (which considers a wide ranging of non-monetary factors, such as influences on crime rates/prison population pressures etc.) would need to be considered.

        Last edited 13/01/14 2:30 pm

          If cocaine was legal I still wouldn't do it.

          If weed was legal I might get baked every now and then.

          I've tried weed twice and never anything else. I have no interest in any of it, but I think it would be cool (I'd gain so many more friends) to punch a few cones and eat some kebabs.

            Part of the beauty of being stoned is: You don't really care if others are or aren't.

            My circle used to have the odd one or two non-smokers regularly sit in on a sesh. No one cared. We were in our late teens and early twenties. If someone under eighteen came around, we let them stay but didn't let them participate.

            You'll find a lot of smokers subscribe to "whatever makes you happy". They won't judge you for not smoking if you won't judge them for smoking. Same goes with everything else.

            Last edited 13/01/14 3:30 pm

            Yeah, and that's exactly it. A lot of research around whether drug use would increase if it was legalised (even harder drugs) indicates that overall use of those drugs wouldn't change much.

            If say, cocaine or heroin were legal, I personally still wouldn't do those drugs.

      Yeah. If she wanted to protect other kids from dying from dodgy coke bought online, she should log onto her son's account and give the product seller a bad review.

      Last edited 13/01/14 2:24 pm

      Ok, so let's look at if Cocaine was legal. We now have coked up people driving cars to get places. Yes the government would make that illegal but look at how that is working for alcohol. So now road deaths increase. We have violent people looking for a fight that are now legally high on a drug that makes them feel much more invincible than alcohol. More deaths there each Friday and Saturday night. Next we have kids under the legal snorting age (?) getting hold of it because it is legal and more accessible. So we have greater addiction rates and juvenile delinquents subjecting their bodies to hard drug use...and subjecting their minds to it as well. Up goes juvenile depression, anti-social behaviour and ultimately suicide. In fact lets add the adult stats for those as well. As Rick James one said "cocaine is a helluva drug", especially for those with addictive personalities and mental issues. Much more a crash than alcohol.
      How are those "death" scales looking now? Do you really think the tax collected on legalised drugs would cover those extra costs that those chemical substances of addiction - so called "hard" drugs - would introduce into society? I'm not talking about trials in small, highly liberalised European countries but opening this up to current Australian society.

        Where is your evidence behind this slippery slope? Because the actual research indicates that the overall usage would stay pretty much as it already is.

        Drugs are already easily accessible. (Seriously, they are very very very easy to get). Overall evidence indicates that current drug habits wouldn't change significantly if drugs were legalised.

          Not that I'm disputing your statements, but saying "The actual research suggests..." then failing to actually provide that research isn't much better than kato's assertions...

            Fair enough. I was a bit lazy, and thought, if someones interested they can google it.
            There are a few journal articles analysing the overall drug use in portugal following decriminalisation (not quite legalisation, but closest anyone is), which have demonstrated that use didn't change.

            Portugal generally provides the best evidence because they are the only country with good data on drug use, as they are the only country that adequately records the data, due to it being decriminalised. I've linked a few articles below.

            http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

            http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/evaluating-drug-decriminalization-in-portugal-12-years-later-a-891060.html

            http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/marijuana-sex-amsterdam

    I got the email for this petition. Change.org clearly doesn't understand what petitions I might be interested in signing. This was a load of crap from the get go.

    Kid bought drugs he didn't know how to take/took in a non-safe environment. It's sad but it's lack of experience with extremely dangerous substances that did it. Not what he used to acquire them.

    Last edited 13/01/14 3:32 pm

    Not to mention that banning this commodity in one country (not currency) is impossible. One can always (and most of the time does), purchase Bitcoins on overseas trading places. I'm not even sure if there are any Aussie Bitcoins trading market places. Poor woman, she's doing what she thinks is best.

    Bitcoin is not at fault, its the parents fault for not having a discussion about drugs to their kids and having lack of foresight/oversight. I'm not for saying a death is not a bad thing but stop blaming the first thing you see as reason for it.

    If you are not willing to help keep your friends and family safe by having open talks with them beforehand without understanding that its the choices people make and not the services/tools that are at fault then you have no right in taking it up with a higher power.

    Asking for bank transfers to be stopped to those that use Bitcoin will not do anything but help further people into using more local person to person exchanges and faster adoption of Bitcoin ATM's via cash transactions to get around the banks policies.

    The actual villain was badly manufactured drugs, and the drug laws that keep them being manufactured. If Cocaine had been legalised, her son would have had properly lab manufactured Cocaine, wouldn't have had to hide that he was using it from his parents, and might have been using it around someone else who could have called for medical help when his use of the drug went wrong.

    If drugs were legal, then people could make informed choices about the risks of using them. Take Marijuana for example. For the majority of users there are no negative side effects or consequences of using it. When people use an illicit drug and don't experience a negative side effect, they then question the government's stance on other illicit drugs. This may lead to someone who tried marijuana and having no negative effects try a much more dangerous drug expecting the same result and then dying as a result.

    Youth are always going to experiment with substances and tragically it's often badly made product created by amateurs that gets people killed. While substance abuse and addiction are truly bad things, they can be treated and cured. Death is final and there is no take-back once someone dies from a bad batch or an overdose.

    Last edited 13/01/14 1:35 pm

      Not entirely true. Cocaine is very damaging to the heart, and it sounds like this was an adverse reaction anyway. Even if it was good quality this could still have happened.

      I think the debate about marijuana and cocaine is very different. Cocaine is so much more damaging in so many ways. Although at least the taxes could go towards trying to get people off it. Injection rooms around the world seem to be successful for heroine. Let them do it in a sterile, hospital-like setting. They can't leave during their hit. Medical attention and counselling is always available. But then with coke people wouldn't go for that anyway. They want to party. So what do you do? Let them buy it and take it home?

      It's a very difficult and complicated problem.

      Last edited 13/01/14 3:15 pm

        I guess if you could only obtain and consume it in a licensed venue, and the venue was required by law to provide suitable medical care, and you couldn't legally obtain it anywhere else, that would probably work.

    So if someone can purchase coke with cash so there is no paper trail back to themselves, should we ban cash and bitcoin? Where do you draw a line in the sand and make the kid who bought the substance responsible for his own actions.

    So: "Cryptospend Australia Pty Ltd, Brisbane. This company withdrew from the U.S. following regulatory pressure..."

    Then: "Treasurer Joe Hockey was reported in The Canberra Times as saying that he “understood the basis” of the petition and campaign to ban Bitcoin in Australia, but said that any regulation against Bitcoin needed to function at an international level rather than a Federal level."

    So why aren't the journalists asking why we do not apply 'regulatory pressure' to Cryptospend like the US did leading to it leaving US soil? This doesn't cure the problem but it seems to me that Cryptospend has to carry some responsibility and is a link in the payment system that can be regulated out of a country.

    As for the rest: legalise recreational drugs, tax them, kill the black market, gain accurate usage data and medical histories, reinvest the tax etc.

      Like you say, what they're missing in this idea of bitcoin being regulated at an "international level" is that there are people on the ground converting bitcoin currency into hard cash in the country of those that purchased them. Sure, they probably can't stop you opening a Swiss bank account, and then transferring the money, if you're payed in swiss francs, but that conversion to cash CAN be identified and regulated by the government, at least for significant transactions. Even if you convert it off-shore, and transfer it to Australia, you are then governed by Australian law regarding international cash transfer.

      I guess Joe Hockey just never took the time to understand the situation. What a surprise.

      Last edited 13/01/14 3:08 pm

      thank you, some one else sees that you have to take the money out of the system to truly control it.

    kid doing drugs dies
    mother blames everyone but herself or the kid
    same old story, now they just have something to point the finger at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal

    There is your answer.
    Anyone that argues that more people will do drugs if they're decriminalised is in fact a moron.

    We've seen the prohibition of drugs fail endlessly for the past 70 years, why not give something else a go?

    Worth pointing out that this kid's death was 100% the result of the Drug War.

    It wasn't the cocaine that killed him, it was some weird cut that the shady black market vendor put in.

    This is a rule that is true at least 80% of the time: if someone dies from drugs, they have died because of drugs' illicit status.

    Without money these people couldn't have purchased these harmful drugs. Let's ban money, because all the drugs in the world are purchased using it. This is clearly the route cause of all drug related deaths.

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