01-30-2006, 07:33 AM #1
01-30-2006, 07:44 AM #2
Woops looks like the URL is being blocked. Mods, can you allow this? It's totally legit.....
01-30-2006, 07:46 AM #3Deeerrrr...just realised I could cut and paste it in.
The Anabolic Internet
Steroids , the Net, and the Law
by Anthony Roberts
The following is an anonymous interview with a lawyer who's well versed in the nuances of anabolic steroid law and current Internet steroid information. For the purposes of this conversation, we'll refer to her simply as "Council for the Defense" or CD for short.
********: First, let's talk about Internet steroid message boards. Are they basically safe or unsafe?
CD: Internet discussion boards have irreversibly altered the structure of anabolic steroid usage and discussion forever. There has never been such a free discussion of steroid use and safety in the history of the drug's existence.
The old underground newsletters may have come close, but those weren't done in real-time like the Internet is. In fact, one could easily make the case that the Internet is the primary source for anabolic steroids , unlike other controlled substances. In general, most people look to the Internet message boards to share and gather information about the usage of these compounds, and that, in my opinion, is a good thing.
Is this kind of thing protected under the first Amendment? It's just freedom of speech, right?
CD: Of course. Speaking about various aspects of steroid usage, dosages, and affects on Internet message boards is protected under the First Amendment. In no cases, however, is the blatant or even implied advocacy of illegal conduct protected under the First Amendment.
The typical exchange that's engaged in on the message boards is protected speech and you should have no fear of prosecution. Some boards, however, are safe, and others are not.
********: How do we distinguish between the "good" discussion boards and the "bad" discussion boards?
CD: Well, "good" and "bad" can have many connotations. Let's talk about the legal aspects of those words for a second.
Speaking in the broadest terms, on most message boards the members and staff share experiences, have all kinds of off topic conversations, gossip, and exchange training and diet tips. Of course, they also talk about steroids, but there's no mention of how to obtain steroids at all.
Also, the website's staff (admin, owners, and moderators) themselves aren't distributors of anabolic steroids or "sources." On these types of boards, the danger from law enforcement officials is non-existent.
But now, I'd want to pose that same question to you. What kinds of Internet discussion boards related to steroids are "good" in your opinion? What types are "bad?"
********: Well, the first thing I'd look for if I was new to steroid discussion boards is the amount of original content on a particular board. What I mean by this is you need to ask yourself if the board you're visiting is producing original work or not.
Most boards have "profiles," or "educational" forums, which are simply copied and pasted from other boards. Does this mean it's bad information? No, not at all. But it's not a good place to join and ask questions, because the staff there didn't actually contribute or create this information. If the staff didn't create the best information on the site, then why would you want to be there?
My advice is to find a place where the info is both good and original, and you can't go wrong. In short, if a site doesn't produce or publish quite a bit of excellent and original information every month, then you don't need to go there to learn about anabolics.
The next thing I'd look for is how the staff treats the members. Do they act condescending? Do they feel they're "above" the membership? If so, then steer clear. This is the kind of elitist attitude that's all over the Net, and we see it in so-called vet forums and private/invite boards everywhere.
I'd go so far as to say that I've never seen any useful information in any vet forums, nor in any private/invite boards (other than gossip and name-calling). Those are the worst boards and should be avoided like the plague.
Finally, what kind of posts does the staff make? Are they helpful? Do they seem to know what they're talking about? Or do they seem like they could be a bunch of fifteen year old kids trying to sandwich their "Internet steroid guru" role in between online gaming?
Okay, now let's get back to me interviewing you. What about boards with a "classifieds" forum, where there may (or may not) be sources of anabolic steroids advertising their wares?
CD: Okay, this is where boards have a special forum that members can sell items in. If this section isn't monitored and the board and its owner clearly derive no material benefit from the sale of illegal substances that may be sold in that forum, then it's probably safe.
A material benefit can be very insubstantial and marginal, and this is a board that walks across a tightrope but doesn't overly expose itself to the substantial risk of law enforcement monitoring and exposure. A few years ago, I looked at some case briefs of different mail order steroid indictments, and they all basically mentioned certain message boards that allowed such a forum to operate.
In short, there's no easy or clear answer on whether private classifieds are basically legal or illegal except to say it depends on how the website conducts this forum. I'd steer clear of them.
How about totally unsafe boards? What type of board should we avoid?
CD: Well, philosophically, I agree with you in your estimation that "private" or "invite" boards are a horrible source of information and ought to be avoided. They'd have to get ten times better to be considered useless.
As a good guideline, any message board that allows the open posting of steroid dealers should be avoided. Any boards where staff is allowed to source or sell steroids should be avoided.
********: Whoa! I can't name more than maybe ten boards on the entire Internet where at least one member of the staff isn't selling steroids on the side...
CD: I know! It's sad. But people who own several boards and moderate on five others and are vets on ten more... well, where does all that time come from? They're running a business and they need all of those contacts to sell steroids. And besides, someone who's so active on so many boards is simply not doing a good job on any of them.
So to answer the original question, the anabolic steroid message boards on the Internet are safe as long as you choose the right board. Boards with classifieds should probably be avoided, private/invite boards definitely should be avoided, as should anywhere that the staff is allowed to source, either blatantly or otherwise.
Well, let's just say you happen to buy some steroids off the Internet and have them mailed to you. Can we talk for a second about the laws surrounding the importation of controlled substances, specifically steroids? When can packages in the mail be opened? Am I safer buying from a domestic source as opposed to an international one?
CD: Let's talk about those questions starting from the last one. It's of the utmost importance to understand that any package coming from an international venue can be opened for no reason at all by a postal inspector or someone similar. There's no probable cause or reasonable suspicion of any type needed.
Now, speaking about domestic packages, first class mail, priority mail, and express mail all require a search warrant that can only be obtained with probable cause, which is (legally speaking) a higher standard than a reasonable suspicion.
Ergo, your domestic package will be far less likely to be randomly inspected unless the package is leaking oil or bears an invalid return address or some similar reason. Domestic shipping is far more attractive, and if there are no problems with the shipping procedure or the sender in general, then you ought to receive your goods to your house or P.O. box with a very high success rate.
Speaking of that, what if I decide to use a P.O. box? Is that better?
CD: Having steroids delivered to a P.O. box instead of your home is a great route to take if you're going to be engaging in this type of activity. This isn't a failsafe precaution by any means; however, it's substantially more difficult for law enforcement officials to put a P.O. box under surveillance in order to catch you receiving a package, although it's certainly possible.
Another reason for this is that to get a search warrant for your home after you've been suspected of receiving something illegal, a judge will have to decide that your receipt of a package at a P.O. box gives probable cause that you also have steroids in your home. Although this is possible (and likely), in my estimation it's worth the chance that a judge may not feel that enough of a link between your home and the P.O. box has been established. Hey, it's worth a shot, right?
Let's talk about the research chemicals that are bought and sold openly on the Internet. I know you're quite familiar with the term "research chemical." This is basically a chemical bought and sold on the Internet for research purposes. These chemicals are almost always simply liquid forms of bodybuilding drugs, ancillaries, clen , etc. labeled "not for human consumption." Is this legal?
CD: First, the law clearly reads that one can legally purchase certain chemicals for research purposes only. This ought to mean that the buyer's liability is, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent. In this case, the research companies' liability isn't as well defined, and I certainly wouldn't want to be selling them myself.
If those chemicals are being sold with flavoring in them, then the government may be able to make the case that they're for human consumption, and possibly indict the buyer as well.
Well, my dog's food has flavoring in it. It's not intended for human consumption, and I certainly didn't buy it for myself.
CD: Right, I've heard that argument. Basically, it's my position that if you're buying flavored research chemicals then you're exposing yourself to an additional risk. In short, you don't buy your dog food in pina colada flavor, or some of the others that are offered in "research chemicals."
You should be safe, but once again, if you're talking about maximizing safety, then you may want to go the unflavored route. There are good arguments to be made on both sides, but I know which ones I'd buy.
And if you're buying a lot (thousands of dollars at a time), then maybe they'll try to get you personally on distribution as well.
Okay then, let's talk about possession versus distribution. What can you tell me about the difference between the two? I assume it's based on quantity?
CD: Well, the first thing you need to know is that penalties for possession are typically much lower than penalties for distribution of steroids. However, the quantity required for possession in one state may be enough to be considered "distribution" in another. The difference if you're charged for possession versus distribution can be the difference between jail-time and a fine.
What if I want to avoid that altogether? Can I just use one of these anti-aging clinics offering doctors' prescriptions for stuff like Testosterone and growth hormone ? Is this legal?
CD: Anabolic steroids are controlled substances; however, the fact that the hormones are controlled substances doesn't automatically make them prescribed for a "legitimate medical purpose." This means that people can get a prescription for low Testosterone levels or other such reasons.
The advantage to the online aging clinics is that they'll probably afford laxity with the dispensing of anabolic steroids for such medical purposes. Thus, despite their cost, they are usually worth it if you want to be safe and sort of quasi-legal.
There have been several prosecutions of such doctors who've prescribed anabolic steroids for what's perceived as being outside the bounds of medical usage, and most states have enacted statutes regarding what constitutes a legitimate medical purpose, but it's rare that the patient is prosecuted.
In general, online clinics operate in a risky area because of the lack of physical contact between the physician and patient, and the fact that the American Medical Association and DEA have viewed this type of patient-physician relationship as not being medically or legally sound. Still, prosecutions of patients remain few and far between.
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule for the interview. I'm sure a lot of readers will benefit greatly from your experience!
CD: Anytime, Anthony!
Last edited by Schwarz; 01-30-2006 at 07:48 AM.
01-30-2006, 11:36 AM #4
Interesting interview. Thanks for posting it.
01-30-2006, 12:41 PM #5
that reads to me like someone honestly is just mad at a certain place or whatever.. doesnt seem to legit.. and its common knowledge, and really who would rather order to a PO, than home
01-30-2006, 12:54 PM #6
theres a situation going on over at one of the other boards where one of the i guess bigger suppliers has gone awol.. alot of ppl are pissed off
01-30-2006, 01:14 PM #7Originally Posted by Mizfit
01-30-2006, 03:33 PM #8Originally Posted by hoss827
01-30-2006, 03:35 PM #9
i'm just gonna ask a question here.. if one guy is caught doesn't it mean those ppl gotta go elsewhere.. it would make sense for him to put away
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