Identity

'People Would Do Anything to Get a Fix': Female Drug Dealers Share Their Stories

We spoke with women who sell drugs about industry sexism, illicitly trying to have it all, and knowing more about various chemicals than their male contemporaries.

by Sophie Saint Thomas
Jul 7 2016, 3:00pm

Illustration by Robin Eisenberg

The female drug dealer is an elusive figure. About six years ago, when I first moved to New York and before I got boring, I used to buy illicit substances from a dude in small black Honda along Tompkins Square Park. Sometimes, his girlfriend would be with him, sitting in the front seat, disinterested and beautiful. As the hot sticky summer mellowed to fall, she started answering the number and coming on her own. By spring, she had obviously done well for herself, and the boyfriend's Honda was exchanged for her own Porsche – still black. I was proud of her.

Female drug dealers are rare. Reflecting on my own experience with my dealer over half a decade later, I started to wonder how to they deal with industry sexism, illicitly trying to have it all, and knowing more about various chemicals than their male contemporaries?

Read more: Moms Who Do Molly

Nicole is a weed dealer from Ohio, who has shifted most of the drop off and delivery responsibility to her fiancé now that she has children. Misuzu is a former psychedelics dealer still happy to school you on why your MDMA is actually meth and your LSD 25i-NBOMe. Rachael sells pills and has plenty of street smarts – but she has also seen the fucked-up shit that can happen to women around drugs when bad men are present. We spoke with them about selling as a mom, sketchy male customers, and some general chemistry lessons.


BROADLY: Hey, to start, will you introduce yourself as much as you are comfortable with?
Nicole: I'm 22, I live in Ohio with my fiancé and two children, and I sell cannabis.

So what's that like?
I normally sell just weed, sometimes acid. I sell to close friends or people my friends trust. It's actually pretty demanding. Chronic users can smoke an ounce per week, give or take. Usually they only buy in increments of an eighth or forth at a time, though. So you will have one person hitting you up a couple times a week at least, and then multiply that by whoever else regularly buys from you. So yeah, demanding.

How'd you get into it?
I got into the business through my stepbrother, [and] just by living in the city. My stepbrother had me try [weed] for the first time, and I'd go on runs with him when he bought or sold. I was 13 at the time. I'm sure even if it wasn't for him, I would have figured it out at our low-income public schools.

As a woman, do you think you are treated differently than men who sell?
I'm sure my experience is different than that of a man. In high school, many suppliers would try to rip me off when I bought a batch. I would stand my ground, though, knowing the prices. I was known to be a bitch for not settling, right? At the same time, some guys gave me great deals, maybe expecting something in return. Never happened, though.

Now that I'm engaged my fiancé doesn't let me go on runs anymore. Someone has to stay with the kids, and I refuse to be the type of person to go on runs or deal in front of my kids. So he usually just does it now. We mostly just sell to cover the cost of our own stuff.

Have male clients ever hit on you?
I've never had clients hit on me. Usually the people to hit on me were the dealers or their friends that I'd buy my batches off of.


BROADLY: Tell me about yourself. What made you want to start dealing?
Misuzu: I began life in the drug game at the age of 19, after working multiple jobs and finding a dead end at all of them. There was no room for promotion, and at minimum wage, you can barely even afford to feed your pet hamster, much less yourself or acquire any shelter or hobbies. I was sick of seeing all the money from me and my co-workers being funneled straight to the top, and of the regular workers never seeing any benefits of their hard work.

How did you get into selling and what do you sell?
I no longer sell drugs, but I previously sold shatter, LSD, DMT, shrooms, MDMA, and mescaline. I used to sell at festivals and clubs often. I would always go in with a friend or two to keep watch and hold the drug stash just so I wouldn't carry it all at once and to watch out for undercovers and trouble. When selling, other girls would feel a lot more comfortable around me, as they mentioned it was less sketchy than meeting with male drug dealers who might be strangers.

What about when selling to men?
When selling to males, things get quite annoying. They would often try to hit on me in exchange for free drugs or discounts—which is ridiculous, because obviously I have way more money than they do and I don't have to be desperate. I wasn't the type of girl to care about getting with guys; I found them to be pretty boring. I was more focused on my own personal life and hustling.

When selling to males, things get quite annoying.

What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding that people have about chemicals?
I have seen so many people have misconceptions about drugs—not only misinformation, but it has gotten them killed or seriously injured. At one point I had trouble selling MDMA because my customers were so used to taking methamphetamine that other dealers said was MDMA that they could not believe that [my stuff] was real.

The main issue is people also don't understand that serotonin regenerates quite slowly, so people trying to "roll" on MDMA five times a week get diminishing returns and hard side effects because they do not realize it takes supplementation and rest to recover. Another issue is anti-depressants, which often down-regulate neurotransmitters into a questionable state, and they also make many psychedelics ineffective. Some people taking them would complain that the drugs were "bunk" or broken, not aware of those drugs blockading the receptors from being influenced.

Another issue is many people do not understand true acid, there is a lot of 25i-NBOMe going around due to its production being at least 10x cheaper than true LSD. Almost all of the "deaths" associated with LSD are actually due to 25i, which has much worse negative side effects on the circulatory system, and a much higher toxicity. Using test kits is very important, along with comfortable dosage and positive setting for a proper experience.


BROADLY: Will you introduce yourself as much as you're comfortable with?
Rachael: I'm 19, and I live just south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I do pretty much any downers I can find—so, like, any benzodiazepines and opiates/opioids. The only thing I haven't touched in that category, though, is heroin.

So how did you get into selling?
I got into it because I know where I can get bigger supplies for cheaper than what people pay on the streets.

What do you sell?
I sell mostly Xanax, because that's cheapest for me to find, and some Adderall because my boyfriend has a script for addy that he never uses. Sometimes I'll sell Klonopin and Oxy too.

Do you think it's harder for women than men to sell?
I don't necessarily think it's harder for women to sell than men, although I have had more men deal to me than women. If people want drugs, they don't care about your gender as long as you can get them the drugs.

Have any customers ever hit on you or acted sketchy?
Customers haven't really acted sketchy towards me, because they know I have their drugs and wouldn't want to not receive them. But throughout my life after I got into drugs, I've had so many experiences with guys doing sketchy, unwanted things to me. If you're in this kind of life, you meet those kind of people. Its pretty much inevitable.

What advice would you give to a woman interested in selling?
If you're a woman and want to start selling, make sure you actually have customers before you buy a bunch of drugs. Also, make sure that you feel comfortable (for the most part) around your customers. Because they may be driving to your place in the middle of the night to pick up, or you might be driving to them. And as a seller, you really do have to be watching your back, because sometimes people would do anything to get a fix if they're desperate enough.