Following October’s FBI crackdown and shutdown on “Silk Road,” an anonymous online, international marketplace for the drug trade, new contenders are springing up everywhere. None, however, are rising as quickly as “Sheep Marketplace,” whose slogan proclaims “Pop your pills like Reddy Freddy!” Reddy Freddy, a communist sheep, is the web store’s mascot. A series of cartoons can be found on YouTube where the sheep extols the values of Karl Marx to several small lambs.
Silk Road, commonly referred to as “the eBay of drugs,” was closed after its owner made a rookie drug lord mistake: he asked for tech advice under his real name. The FBI found a direct trail to the man’s door when he had 12 fake IDs shipped to his home address.
The administrators of Sheep Marketplace, however, have yet to make any such mistakes. If the site’s “about us” page is to be believed, this is because the eponymous sheep are actually running the site. It was unclear at press time whether this explanation is intended as a metaphor for the American populace.
Just as Silk Road offered a variety of products–art and jewelry could be found among the drugs–Sheep Marketplace seems to be branching out as well. Here, a buyer can find rarities like hamsters, moonrocks, and guns, as well as the usual caches of LSD, cocaine, and heroin.
Sheep Marketplace has revealed, assuming the site’s herd manages to evade legal consequences, a preview of what its Black Friday sales will look like. Prices will drop dramatically for a short period of two hours before 11:59 P.M. on Thanksgiving. The idea, according to the promotional blurb, is to target users wishing to have a “trippy, fulfilling, or just extra intense” shopping day. In a Sheep Marketplace-related forum on internet aggregator site reddit, users were found having a spirited debate over what drugs would lead to the best experience.
“Cokecokecokecokecokecokecokecoke!” was the input from user BloomingVeins, whose other comments certainly indicated that drug was in effect. However, other commenters disagreed.
“We just need to chill the day out,” wrote user Marley_Lover_xoxo. “If all those crazi shoppers tried my Silver Haze nobody would die any more. These baby daddiez need to stop shooting each other and chillax.”
“The unicorns will lead the way,” suggested user PurpleCat. “To the magical land of buy two get one free blu-ray players…”
Meanwhile, a few users of Sheep Marketplace have argued against the sale in honor of Black Friday, on the grounds that it undermines the website’s ethical mission promoted by Reddy Freddy the communist sheep.
“This is a capitalist holiday! It cannot and should not be condoned under our values,” user Pinko_and_Proud commented. “If anyone is to learn something from this day, it is only how far our government has failed us, and we would be better off rising above the crowd this day. Stay home and have a Sheep Marketplace party instead, sheeple. Support our own kind.”
Despite this Black Friday controversy, Sheep Marketplace seems to be doing well. Its profits from marijuana in particular have gone through a series of sharp rises and falls, as continuing legislation in the United States has made it legal in more areas while frustrating users outside those zones. The marketplace boasts an impressive selection and, like Silk Road before it, runs on a hacker’s dream of torrents, bitcoins, and encryption. Despite the work done to shield its owners, little can be said about how increasing publicity will affect the site. Drawing attention to Sheep Marketplace will attract users but may also bring the ire of soldiers in the War on Drugs. For now, The Athenian anticipates that CWRU students will, as always, stick to textbooks.