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"We are witnessing a uberisation of the drug market"

Today, drugs can be delivered as easily as pizza. – SIPA

  • The French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction published Thursday its report on drug use of the French.
  • The document points the taste of the French for cannabis, but also for cocaine, whose consumption increases.
  • For Dr. Dan Velea, addictologist, "this uberization of the drug market" pushes for consumption.

Simplicity. Modernity. Speed. Today, getting a gram of grass or cocaine delivered is almost as easy as having a pizza delivered. This is one of the points that is deplored by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT) in
his report published this Thursday. The OFDT, which publishes this document every five years, notes changes in the consumption of narcotic drugs in France, and observes that "among illicit drugs, the
cannabis remains the first substance consumed (45% of experimentalists among adults, 11% of users in the year and 6% in the last month), far ahead of cocaine, with about 1.6% of users in the world. year. " The OFDT also notes that "the proportion of cannabis users is increasing among adults, reflecting the aging of generations who have experienced this product" in their adolescence. Consumption "encouraged by the ease with which one can obtain
drug, "says Dr. Dan Véléa, addictologist psychiatrist.

Access to drugs has never been easier. Today, cannabis or cocaine can be delivered like a pizza. What impact does this have on consumers?

Admittedly, it has been a long time since consumers can get home-made drugs as easily as pizza. But illicit drug distribution networks have grown and simplified in recent years. And whether it's cannabis, cocaine or synthetic drugs, buying drugs is easier and more accessible than ever before. It can also be delivered by mail, in which case the order will pass through several countries before arriving at destination. You can also order via social networks, and simply by text: the dealers put in place special codes: we write for example that we want to order caviar, which will mean that we want cocaine of good quality. It is very well organized.

And it's so well organized that dealers are now aware of the latest marketing trends to build customer loyalty. Loyalty card, promos or reminder text: everything is good for pushing sales. They will even organize raffles with their customers, as we have seen in recent days in Grenoble.

All this is part of the uberisation of society. As with food, transport or clothing, we are witnessing a uberisation of the drug market. And inevitably, having access to drugs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is pushing for consumption. The danger for the customers is to be directed to harder drugs: a dealer who comes to deliver to a customer the gram of cannabis that he has ordered can take the opportunity to offer him to test cocaine or a synthetic drug , whose sales are more lucrative for him. The risk for the consumer is to develop a new addiction, for hard drugs this time.

From now on, you can even order your drug on the Internet. What are the particular excesses related to this distribution channel of illicit products?

There is a very particular danger with the drug providers on the Internet, which deals with the concentration of narcotics. Cannabis production and trafficking channels have been organized and professionalized, and are changing the quality and concentration of active ingredients in the products they offer. Online, one can for example order cannabis seeds that are from a fine selection to increase their content of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. As a result, the THC content of cannabis resin has almost quadrupled in the last fifteen years.

In this continuity, the other danger of the Internet is the accessibility of videos and other tutorials that teach the average user how to make synthetic drugs with basic ingredients. It is extremely dangerous.

The French are the biggest European consumers of cannabis. How can we control the use of illicit drugs?

This appetite for illicit drugs, like opiates for that matter, is a sign of a bad society. We must ask questions at the state level on the illegal side of this trade. It is an old sea serpent that seems to be stirring again in France, but the control of illicit drugs – as far as cannabis is concerned – must go through an evolution of the legislation. Decriminalize or legalize cannabis, control its production and sale: all this would allow the state to have control over the products that circulate. Especially since we see it well: the repressive struggle against cannabis is totally ineffective, so as to adopt another strategy.



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