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DoctorX: Despicable me

A Post by Fernando Caudevilla – better known as DoctorX, the doctor who provided harm reduction advice on Silk Road, originally posted on his blog and share to his request:

After being declared guilty, Ross Ulbritch has been sentenced to life in prison as mastermind of Silk Road. Judge has dismissed all arguments about harm reduction. Also, I has been considered as “particularly despicable” and “irresponsible”.

Ross Ulbritch was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment as mastermind of Silk Road. In this story there are involved murder-for-hire accusations without body of evidence and FBI agents jailed and accused of extortion and stealing money from the investigation. Judge has not considered relevant the testimony of a group of professionals who had been monitoring and working in Deep Web Marketplaces, in which it was included my work as medical assessor in harm reduction for drug users.

I have no legal knowledge to evaluate the case. The judge has legal authority to consider our testimony not relevant and deliver a verdict.

But this morning I have woke up with this tweet and this news in which the judge considers me an “enabler,” and my behavior “breathtakingly irresponsible.”

In the following link you can find most of my work in Silk Road Forum from April to October 2013:

Ask a Drug Expert Physician about Drugs & Health

There are some missing private messages. For example, the case of a heroin addict who suffered a leukaemia but was wrongly diagnosed with withdrawal syndrome (related in Silk Road book by Eileen Ormsby) or another heroin user (Trust in Me) whose girlfriend suffered an overdose while I was online and was suggested to use intranasal naloxone as a emergency measure (HERE is the whole story)

I don´t know the legal basis used by judge to describe me with those adjectives. I am not qualified to evaluate her professionally but I doubt judge Katherine Forrest has understood what does harm reduction mean.

I received donations from Dread Pirate Roberts, as many other anonymous users who financed a harm reduction work to which I dedicated between two and three hours a day. I declared this free and voluntarily because I have nothing to hide and my personal identity and work has been public in every moment. And I thought this aspect should be considered in the trial.

Probably there were other more adequate ways of funding. Unfortunately, money assigned to drug prevention is mostly wasted in ineffective, fear-based prevention campaigns. People working in harm reduction field generally work on activism,  for free or in precarious conditions. In any case I have been working in harm reduction for the last fifteen years , I am proud about my work and I think to continue on it


  1. Katherine_F_is_despicable

    I think this is a classy response. The majority of people that heard the word “despicable” to describe DrX imediately thought “BITCH!” to describe Judge Forest. At this moment I feel nothing but complete disdain and utter anger with our Judicial branch of gov. There are men and women that have killed in cold blood that will one day be parolled, yet Ross will never again see the outside of a prison for merely presenting an evolution of technology. A super rhetorical question: Should we credit Thomas Edison with the discovery of light when he invented the light bulb? …What Ross did was simply facilitate an evolution of technology that was an inevitability, eventually somebody somewhere would have created a medium of free trade exactly like the Silk Road.

    • Katherine_F_is_despicable

      …moreover, just like any other evolution be it biology, technology, religion…the race to establish new illegal marketplaces has taken off just as fast as a microbial culture that mutates on average once in every 9 billion cellular divisions. How many mutations of the war on drugs will it take before we see an evolution?

  2. The case was a foregone conclusion from the moment it began. The War on Drugs is a for profit industry. An industry that succeeds only in the highest per capita incarceration rate globally, wasting a shitload of tax payer money, ruining the lives of people for simple possession ( an exercise in personal freedom ) and spreading propaganda / lies about drug use. It is a politically motivated agenda benefitting the governments that enforce it, not the people it claims to protect.

    Doctor X is awesome. He has and will continue to selflessly devote time for true harm reduction. Time that he could otherwise use for personal profit as an MD.

    Don’t be affected by the hollow insults of bureaucrats with a political agenda. Your dedication to humanitarian work is much appreciated.

  3. last comment on ddw

    I left two comments that were absent of vulgarity and completely within reason. Not breaking rules, not promoting drug use or illegal activity. WHY WERE THEY REMOVED???

  4. Ladies & Gentlemen,

    Go out to the following website:


    Look carefully under the section, “Markets availability status”.

  5. All the genuine and inspired work on demographics – population dynamics: Gauss > LaPlace, Poisson, Quetelet.

    Distribution function descriptions are a requirement to insight understanding in the setting of the behaving and food drug consuming organism.

    (Over the 20th century we learnt that such description goes all the way in. Brian Greene hosted a high production value TV presentation demonstrating that a probabilistic description at a fundamental level is necessitated required to properly understand the physical world.

    Although one jumps many orders of magnitude, the same concepts, ideas apply to behavior of people/populations population demographics.
    The development of these concepts was motivated by Gauss, Laplace, Poisson, Quetelet. (A more literary/lyrical presentation was provided by, for example De Quincey (Thomas De Quincey 1785 – 1859)

    One cannot outlaw these curves. Distribution functions. That is absurd.

    Any attempt to do so resurrects and animates the misguided behavior of Myles Ambrose

    Ambrose the midwife to the DEA is quoted as saying “Drug people are the very vermin of humanity. They are dangerous. Occasionally we must adopt their dress and tactics” (NYT OBIT June 2, 2014, Paul Vitello).

    Well the occasions included, drug raids on at the homes of innocencent people. Concussion grenades exploding in the face of children – the list is very very long and includes the millions imprisoned (very recent studies demonstrated upon leaving prison morbidity and mortality is not changed, but unaffected it worse, exactly what one would expect is the biological nature of this behavior were properly understood.

    From a perspective as above, drug consumers are de facto an integral aspect of the population. The deviant behaviors are “standard deviations”.

    The biological nature ‘correlated’ to the mathematical descriptions (mathematic descriptions date rmto C. F. Gauss 1777 – 1855, and application to population demographics/behavior to eg Adolph Quetelet 1796 – 1874) is in its infancy but over the course of the 20th century light was shed on the neuroanatomy, neurophysiological correlating (explaining !) the mathematical nature of means and spread/deviations.

    Further more subtiantuve skew/spread to population description (widening of the curves) is best understood, indeed can/will be shown to be correlated to genetical, herefofamilial neuroimmunological insults associated with known and emerging infections disease.

    The number of these infecting agencies which strike at the behaving organism (the nervous system/central, visceral, limbic, neuro endocrine systems) is Vast (with a capital V). Many (several dozens of these afflictions) can easily be listed but this is not required here. The bite of a bed bug, flee, mosquito, tick can and does act to deform skew the curves.

    When will reason and reasonableness lead us out of unreason and a policy of punish, punish, punish, when nothing wrong was really done. Although not desirable, drug consumption is never desirable, it is necessary. And light will be shed on the whys, becauses.

    But first, hang up the guns, put them away. And the restrictive punitive legislation: and hit the books, review the research embark on further research. Don’t adopt the tactics of criminals (see above) adopt and promote the strategies and the spirit ambition to furtherance of knowledge of the nature and causes of our behavior(s).

  6. as the doctor is blank if not understand Latin

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