If you don't live in New York City, the whole premise of getting drugs delivered might be foreign to you. Your experience of procuring pot probably involves texting someone you vaguely remember from high school and being forced to make small talk with him inside his mom's house, or driving to a weird apartment with more bros than usable pieces of furniture in it and pretending to dig some nameless dude's "dab art" (which is literally cloth pieces covered in black resin stains) as he tries to upsell you an edible.
But here, people form relationships with their weed delivery guys the same way they bond with their favorite Chinese joints. Once you have your guy (or girl), you can hit them up anytime and have them show up on your doorstep in—well, it usually takes a while, and pot dealers are notorious for following their own schedules, but who cares? You're getting drugs brought to your living room!
But Winter Storm Juno—which is apparently what we're calling this windstorm of snow blowing around us at the moment—is testing the professionalism of the city's courageous weed deliverymen and deliverywomen. The storm is affecting all sorts of business (the supermarkets are crowded with people stocking up on bread and water, Uber has put a cap on its surge prices); how are they going to deal with the streets and subways getting a deluge of white powder?
To find out, I called a 28-year-old woman from Boston who's been delivering for six years and working for herself for the last three. As such, she makes her own rules. That also means she takes things on a case-by-case basis during inclement weather.
VICE: So what's your normal volume of business like?
Weed Dealer: Usually everyone gets ready for the weekends a lot, depending on what you're getting them. And with blizzards, people don't prepare enough so people wanna hit you up in the middle of it. I'm sure tonight my phone's gonna start blowing up. Right now, it's fine, but that's because I started a corporate job, so I work from nine to six, sometimes seven, so I have to work and run around and see people at night—but a lot of people will come meet me at my work, too, because they have like these amazing smell-proof bags that let you carry whatever you want.
So what's it like to deliver weed during a blizzard?
It just sucks. You just have to bundle up and trek through and it's like a lot of fucking walking, which is the worst part. I don't mind the train. I don't bike—I just don't feel comfortable on a bike. It would probably make my life a lot easier, but I'm just not into it. And Uber is pretty helpful. A lot of people if they really, really want something—I mean I have a minimum for what I deliver for, but a lot of people, if they really want something, they'll pay for your Uber.
Was there a mad rush to stock up before the storm?
Not that much. I went away for the weekend, and whenever I go away for the weekend, I hit people up, and they'll come and see me before I go. So I saw a good amount of people before. My friend, though, he has a big service and he dispatches me a lot of times. If I want to make extra money, I'll work for him on the weekends. I just talked to him and he's running around like a maniac. But that depends on what you're selling. Different things are in more demand. Bud is pretty mellow, because it's like... it's weed. But if you sell hard drugs, people will call you all night. They'll wake you up at four in the morning. It's crazy. It's annoying.
What do people most often order when they're gonna be cooped up?
I would say weed or pills. Some people like rage and drink and do coke and shit, but not that much. That's more like going out, not staying in. That would be like my nightmare, in a small-ass fuckin' apartment. So I would say like weed and benzos and perks and stuff.
Do you raise prices because of the weather?
If it were a stranger, I would, but if it's my regular people, I don't wanna piss 'em off. But that's when they'll do stuff like I'll pay for your cab, like, "I'll throw you an extra $20 and you can take a cab." Which is very cool.
How much would you lose per day if you couldn't work?
Hundreds of dollars—that's for me, for bud. If you really have a delivery service where you deliver a bunch of different things, then it's thousands of dollars. They make thousands of dollars per day.
What percentage of dealers do you know are not going to pick up the phone tomorrow because of the weather?
Probably like 75 percent.
That still seems like a surprising amount of people willing to go outside.
How bad is it gonna be?
The mayor said it might be the worst snowstorm ever.
Oh, seriously. I am like fuckin' mad out of it. I was wondering why they like, let us go from our work early. And then when I got outside I was like, "Holy shit." So I got in an Uber. But now you're freaking me out. Maybe I won't go out tonight.
Fuck! I don't want to be responsible for your decision one way or the other. Maybe just look at Accuweather and figure it out for yourself.
Yeah, I'll just look out the window and see if everything's shoveled or whatever. Some people don't have another option, so they'll still be there in a few days.
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