Who knows what the future holds? Thirty years from now we could be in sexy-replicant Blade Runner dystopia, sexy biker gang Mad Max drought dystopia, less-sexy THX-1138 seems-like-a-utopia-but-is-actually-a-dystopia, or just all dead. But one thing is for sure. We will be getting high. As long as we’re not dead. As for drug use after death, that’s a theological question for another article on another day.
A recent VICE article on the future of drugs inspired us to think about what exactly our cyborg grandkids will be smoking and snorting. Behold. Peek into the days of narcotics future past if you dare…
Digi-Drugs, 3-D Printers and Nanobots
As for the Jetsons portion of pharmacology futurology, there are currently services selling “digital drugs,” sonic compositions that supposedly interact with your brainwaves to create sensations similar to getting stoned or tripping out. Some of the brands offered include prescription drug simulators and more creative sonic-narcotics like the alluring “Overdose” track. Some of them have even been show to kind of work.
Also in the jetpack, moon colony arena: nanobots are already being used to deliver drugs inside of insects and groovy scientists are developing specially-tailored 3-D printable drugs. Can I just teleport the drugs into my veins?
More and more drugs will be bought and sold online
Though Silk Road 2.0 was taken down at the end of last year, the digital drug market barely missed a step in continuing its usual business. Right now, drugs are only bought and sold in the deep web by a small group of users, but some predict the market’s use could become much more widespread soon.
Dark net drug dealers even use the same tricks as a department store: time-sensitive sales. “Cyber Monday” sees sites offering $200 ounces of weed, buy three-get-one-free liquid mushrooms, and half off on LSD.
And some dealing is starting to branch out of the deep web. VICE reports that the UK now has small, close-knit subscription-based illicit drug groups that organize in the clear net.
Drug sharing and dealing has spread into dating apps such as Grindr, and may become more widespread soon. Users can either advertise what they’re holding or what they’re hankering for by employing innocuous initials like “T” for crystal meth or “M” for mephedrone (bath salts) and use the location-based tech of the dating app to find the nearest buyer or seller.
Weed Will Be Legal, Of Course
In the U.S. and abroad, the wave of cannabis legalization is expected by many to continue. “Within a few years, especially once California take that step in 2016, it is very likely that several countries in the Americas will follow suit: Jamaica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia, and, yes, even Canada after the elections,” said Martin Jelsma, an expert on international drug policy at the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam.
Jelsma thought it likely that laws will soon loosen up in Europe, Asia, and Africa as well. “I’m quite convinced the cannabis regulation trend will continue and gradually speed up in the course of the next decade, as it will be shown in practice that a legally regulated market can be introduced in a responsible manner,” he said.
So, Dabs Mag is now announcing a party at our planned space station in 2050. You bring the nanobots and synthemesc. We’ll have the 3-D printers and drug beats raging when you get here.
Photo from “Brainstorm” (1983/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)