While the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (“NCIS”) stopped conducting routine tests for LSD use among sailors and marines, it has noted with concern that Navy staff are purchasing, distributing and using LSD, a known psychedelic drug commonly called “acid.” The U.S. NCIS has therefore announced that it is prepared to take several measures, including paying informers, in order to crack the whip on personnel engaged in distributing or using LSD.
The NCIS recently issued a memo in which it observed that different law enforcement agencies were reporting that more people were now buying LSD on the dark web using tools like TOR (The Onion Router). Such tools are thought to offer a high degree of anonymity, and this could explain why there is an uptick in the number of people using those tools to buy illicit substances on the dark web.
The NCIS memo also indicates that people are using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to pay for the illegal substances that they buy.
The investigative service warns sailors and marines that while TOR and other such tools can offer a degree of anonymity, there is no guarantee that those breaching naval standards and regulations will not be caught. This is because investigative agencies use a number of techniques to identify who the buyers and sellers of the illicit products are. Furthermore, the NCIS noted that some cryptocurrency transactions could be traced, and this will give away the sailors who thought they couldn’t be caught.
The Navy may be right to be concerned about its personnel using unapproved substances. In 2018 for example, several sailors admitted that while they were serving in Japan on the USS Ronald Reagan, they possessed and distributed a number of illicit drugs like MDMA and LSD.
Observers also say that as stay-at-home orders took effect early this year when the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading, there was a spike in the number of illegal drugs being listed for sale online. This may have been due to the closure of bars and other places of entertainment where black market operators were used to selling their products.
If sailors were counting on their colleagues to keep their dark secret, the NCIS has news for them. It revealed that it could offer rewards to the women and men in uniform to share information which can result in a felony conviction. Department of Navy (“DON”) personnel should therefore be careful and avoid putting themselves in situations that will expose them to law enforcement action.
Industry watchers believe that the work being done by entities like Field Trip Psychedelics Inc. will go a long way towards showing federal agencies why and how various psychedelics substances can be used therapeutically.
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