Mike Power

Investigative journalist
Freelance writer specialising in the drugs trade, author of Drugs 2.0 – The web revolution that's changing how the world gets high. Clients: The Guardian, Mail On Sunday, Reuters, the BBC, Lonely Planet, and more.


Mike Power

Mike Power is a British freelance investigative journalist specialising in drugs and technology.

His book Drugs 2.0 was published by Granta in 2013 in the UK, and 2014 in the USA and Germany, and documented a new digital frontline in the war on drugs, revealing how users and dealers have outmanoeuvred law enforcement and created a global, online black market in narcotics.

His reports around the emergence of so-called “legal highs” - recreational drugs manufactured in Chinese laboratories that are legal in most countries - have prompted complex policy debates in the UK and beyond. His in-depth research into the Dark Web, Tor, Bitcoin and cryptomarkets predicted accurately the explosive growth in digital drug dealing that we have witnessed in the past three years.

His "Drugs Unlimited" report for Matter.com documented an undercover mission to produce and import to the UK a new, legal drug – using only a laptop – and won the 2014 British Science Writers Association's prize for the best investigative journalism.

Power offers colourful reportage and research on this topic, from undercover infiltration of clandestine labs in Shanghai, to treks through Colombian coca fields, and frank debate with cryptomarket drug dealers, and argues the case for a wide-ranging and radical rethink of all drug laws in the digital age.

Power has reported extensively from Panama and Colombia for Reuters, and his clients include The Guardian, Mixmag, Matter.com, Deutsche Welle, The Mail On Sunday, The Sunday Herald, Lonely Planet, Dazed & Confused, Granta, The London Evening Standard and many more.