Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series. All names in this story have been changed to protect identities.
Being in college, most students can make a call, take a walk or open their refrigerator to have alcohol; it’s effortless. But what about marijuana, a drug that holding as little as 2.5 grams of can slap you with up to 30 days in jail and a $2500 fine?
“A lot of kids don’t know about that culture,” junior student Peter said. “Selling weed is easy money.”
The business is, in a word, thriving.
Despite the low number of arrests for possession on campus, several reports from drug users state the dealing business is flourishing around campus, with the biggest dealers shipping pounds of marijuana to their homes from contacts across state lines, particularly from California and Colorado.
“What you do is send them an envelope with about $4,000 or so to your guy,” Peter said. “They send you back a vacuum-sealed pouch with a pound of weed in it. There’s no return address and they just drop it off rather than send it directly. They don’t care if you get the weed or not, they’ve got your money.”
Peter wouldn’t describe himself as a drug dealer, he said he sees himself as a helping hand. He is a daily marijuana user who has used cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, ketamine and opium. He buys up to a quarter pound of marijuana at a time from contacts in the area, breaks it down to ounces, eighths of an ounce and grams and sells to friends and contacts. He is able to make $200 a month selling marijuana, but his profits aren’t the main goal.
“I want to make enough money to smoke for free,” Peter said. “I sell to friends of mine, but it’s not a big deal.”
That being said, Peter said he knows several other dealers who have made considerably more overt attempts to move their product, often in broad daylight.
“One of my good friends used to buy s*** weed, and he knew kids didn’t know how much they were supposed to pay for it,” he said. “He would stand in front of Geisert [Hall] or Williams [Hall] all day and sell a gram for $40 to anyone who wanted it.”
More knowledgeable drug users will be able to access drugs at more reasonable prices and at more convenient and less dangerous delivery systems.
“I’m one phone call from weed,” sophomore student Rachel said. “One phone call. I call my guy or send him a text, see what he has, walk next door and pick it up. It’s that easy.”
Rachel said she spends around $100 a month on marijuana, which covers her smoking four times a day on the way to, between and after classes on her weekdays.
“I just really want to chill out, as lame as that sounds,” Rachel said. “It’s just a way to get through work or class.”
Although the people interviewed all said that they were regular drug users, none of them believed that there was a serious drug problem on campus.
“This is college,” Jennifer, a senior and regular marijuana user who has also experimented with psychotropic mushrooms and LSD, said. “Drug abuse is a serious problem, but not everyone who does drugs abuses them. I don’t have a problem, and I would say the drugs I use are recreational. I don’t rely on them, but I do enjoy them. They don’t impact my grades, though I think they do that to some people.”
Many of the people that were spoken to also commented on how the real problem may not be regular drug use, but could be the continual abuse of alcohol.
“I don’t think I would say that Bradley has a drug problem,” Rachel said. “There’s more of an alcohol problem on campus than anything. It’s [the drug problem] not something that needs to be monitored. Just cut back. There doesn’t need to be a cop at every corner. It’s just not realistic.”