A prominent transgender activist recently boasted online about plans to organize an international drug ring to illegally mail transgender hormones to children.
The criminality of Eli Erlick’s proposal is shocking, but so far, it’s unclear whether Erlick, a biological male who identifies as a woman, will face any legal consequences despite admitting to the scheme on social media.
Last week, Erlick posted on Instagram about “working with a distribution network” to get “trans youth” access to cross-sex hormones in “over 20 states trying to criminalize hormone therapy.”
Uuhhhhh 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 pic.twitter.com/25J2zKZe6R
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 5, 2022
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) August 7, 2022
Erlick, who on Instagram claims to be “extremely queer and incredibly trans,” is the co-founder of Trans Student Educational Resources, where the infamous “gender unicorn” originated. Erlick is also a Ph.D. candidate in feminist studies at the University of California Santa Cruz.
After Erlick’s post went viral last week, critics on social media quickly accused the activist of admitting to orchestrating a criminal conspiracy to distribute pharmaceuticals to minors, potentially stretching back to last year and even internationally.
“Realistically, I can ship anywhere in North America,” Erlick wrote in a comment on his post.
In a post from last September, Erlick told followers to “redistribute your extra hormones to people who can’t access/afford them.”
It’s difficult to tally up just how many federal and state laws Erlick’s proposal would break.
Under federal law, mailing prescription drugs is illegal and carries serious criminal charges. Unless the sender and receiver are registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) it is unlawful for someone to mail prescription drugs, even if the sender or recipient has a prescription for them.
In New York, where Erlick lives, giving prescription drugs to another person is considered the “sale” of a controlled substance and is a felony, even if no money is exchanged. Offering and giving pharmaceuticals to minors without parental permission is illegal by extension, of course.
Erlick is doing the children who receive these drugs no favors either, as they could be charged with unlawful possession, arrested, and prosecuted in juvenile court.
The DEA told The Daily Wire it “does not confirm or otherwise comment on ongoing investigations” when asked whether it would investigate Erlick’s posts.
However, the DEA did announce at least several dozen cases involving drug trafficking activity on social media sites last year, DEA spokesperson Katherine Pfaff pointed out. In 2021, the DEA opened at least 14 cases on criminal drug network activity involving Instagram and fake prescription pills alone.
Erlick appears aware of the potential legal consequences of his actions.
“So yeah, I know it’s illegal,” Erlick said in since deleted video about soliciting testosterone on Instagram for a friend. “Trans people face insurmountable mistreatment in health care. Maybe we don’t want to go to a doctor … maybe our parents don’t want us to get care.”
“Who’s to say I’m not just shipping myself a prescription?” Erlick wrote in another comment on the post.
Erlick’s post also appears to violate Instagram’s rules.
Instagram’s community guidelines state that users must “follow the law” and that “buying or selling non-medical or pharmaceutical drugs” is “not allowed.”
Instagram did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, medical professionals warn that cross-sex hormones come with serious risks.
“Without question this is dangerous for multiple reasons. First, using opposite sex hormones and puberty blockers are harmful to the body and affect brain development, skeletal development, and cause increased cardiovascular and cancer risks among other problems,” said Dr. Michael K. Laidlaw, MD, a board-certified physician and endocrinology specialist in California.
“Second, medications may be tampered with either intentionally or inadvertently. Medications may also be expired or negatively affected by temperature or storage which is a separate hazard,” Laidlaw told The Daily Wire.
Laidlaw added that redistributing testosterone, in particular, is “dangerous” and “highly irresponsible.”
“Testosterone is classified as a Schedule 3 controlled substance by the DEA as it may lead to both physical and psychological dependence. Also there are risks for mood disorders including psychosis, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and deadly blood clots,” he explained.
Erlick claimed last year to have been on hormones for 11 years.
Erlick ended up deleting the Instagram posts over “extreme harassment from Libs of Tiktok and Matt Walsh’s fans,” according to a Fox News interview.
On Saturday, the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh tweeted that Erlick’s plan to send drugs to children across the country “without prescriptions, parental consent, or any legal authority whatsoever” is “a crime on several different levels.”
“I have been harassed, doxxed, and lied about after they made those posts. The sentiment stands: all trans people should have access to gender-affirming care,” Erlick said.
Days after going viral, the story has already begun to fizzle. Most of the media appears uncomfortable condemning an international scheme to give drugs to children illegally, perhaps because these particular drugs are so politically charged.
In the meantime, we will have to wait to know whether law enforcement is on the case.