The first thing ever bought or sold online, according to British journalist Mike Power, was marijuana. The sale was arranged in either 1971 or 1972 between computer science students at Stanford and MIT using Arpanet, the precursor to the Internet. Today, thanks to the Web, cryptography, crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and international next-day delivery services, people around the world are buying substances far less tested than marijuana with a great deal more ease. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey reviews Power's Drugs Unlimited: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High for the Wall Street Journal.
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