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Commentary :: Health & Drugs

How the government lost the drug war in cyberspace.

from October 2004 Reason OnLine

Open Secrets
How the government lost the drug war in cyberspace.
Michael Erard

For 36 years the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quietly published a quirky monthly newsletter called Microgram for a small audience of forensic chemists. It was "law enforcement restricted," which meant you could obtain it only if you were a law enforcement official, a government investigator, or a forensic scientist. As far as the public was concerned, it was a secret. In January 2003 DEA officials started to make Microgram publicly available via the Web (at, where it joined a vast sea of information about illicit drugs: how to get them, how to use them, why to avoid them, why laws controlling them should be either tightened or reformed...

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