News in this year’s Global Drugs Survey that internet drug dealing was on the rise will have alarmed, surprised or intrigued many people. But the very first thing bought and sold on the net was a bag of marijuana – over 40 years ago.
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 Massachussetts 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.