Having plead guilty (archive) to a charge of importing a Class B drug into the UK, 25 year old student Gary Trouve now faces 250 hours of community service as punishment for the 145 grams of "herbal cannabis" he purchased using bitcoin via an unnamed darknet market.
Trouve came to the attention of the UK authorities earlier this year when a parcel pertaining to contain specialist welding equipment was intercepted by customs officers who instead found it to contain cannabis. Having been notified, Humberside Police subsequently attended the residence of Trouve who then gave a full confession of his crime.
Recorder Jeremy Hill-Baker first thought Trouve was headed to prison, remarking:
"I initially thought it inevitable I was going to send you to prison, but I took the view that the appropriate action is one of a community order. This action was done to save money, and may this be a permanent reminder not to do drugs."
In his defence, Trouve claimed he purchased the drugs online to avoid dealing with drug dealers and did not know it was illegal to import the drugs into the UK. Trouve is not alone in his reasoning as shown by 2015's Global Drug Survey which reported drug users were more inclined to buy online than in person in order to avoid physical violence, threats and blackmail attempts even if it meant they were more likely to have their money stolen.