This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Selling weed seems like an easy pay-day. I'll just buy an ounce and sell it in bits for a profit, you think. It can't be that hard—that guy Dean from college used to do it and he's fine, bar all the paranoia and debt and the fact he kept having to buy new phones. So you do just that, and the money starts trickling in—you're making a couple bucks on every dime bag. You're flush. You're eating at nice restaurants and buying rounds for everyone at the bar. You start telling customers to call you "Hitman."
Then the anxiety sets in. This whole selling large amounts of drugs thing is actually quite illegal, you realize. Driving around in a hot-boxed car full of cash and multiple baggies of skunk maybe isn't the best idea. And what if someone tries to rob me? Should I start carrying my mom's bread knife? Should I get my own name tattooed on my forearm so people know I'm hard?
And who has to deal with all that bullshit? Me. And other girls like me. Other girls who've dated small-fry weed dealers with a Scarface complex. Thing is, bad boys really are very hot (the distant prospect of only being able to speak to my boyfriend through a panel of glass gets me fucking fired up), so I can see why others might want to follow the same path as I did.
However, I wouldn't feel right endorsing doing such a thing without handing out some pointers, so here's everything you need to know about dating a weed dealer.
FALLING ASS OVER TIT INTO 'THE GAME'
Being broke and in love can be a dangerous combination. Think of Bonnie and Clyde, perhaps the only mass murderers to be name-checked aspirationally by a pair of multi-millionaire musicians. There was probably something like this going on in my head when my boyfriend and I made our disastrous first foray into the drugs trade.
A friend's older brother—let's call him Martin—asked my boyfriend if he'd transport several bin liners full of weed from Manchester to Huddersfield (about an hour's drive) for £100 [$157], plus gas money. Any moron could tell this was a terrible deal, including us. But the thrill in our relationship was gone, and I guess we both subconsciously figured that trafficking thousands of dollars worth of skunk might give it the recharge it needed.
We collected everything and set off down the M60. Arriving at Martin's, we carried the weed to the back of the house, discovered that somebody had tried to smash the back door in—most likely to get their hands on the 60-plant grow ready for harvest upstairs—and freaked out. We told Martin, who somehow hadn't noticed his back door had been almost kicked in, and he called the police. Martin, a man with 60 marijuana plants growing in his house, invited the police over. His next move was to cry down the phone to his dad to come and pick him and all the plants up so he didn't get arrested and have to spend the next 18 months eating with plastic cutlery.
You'd have thought that ordeal would halt my boyfriend in his tracks. But it didn't. So, first tip: if, in their first large-ish job, your boyfriend almost runs into both police and a gang of men who'd happily bash his eye sockets in to steal some plants, perhaps reconsider what you're getting yourself into.
YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH LOADS OF STONERS
Hands down the best way to turn someone off selling weed is to let them know that they're going to have to deal with the tedious ramblings of stoners. Heard about the time an Airbus had to dip at 34,000ft above Berkshire to avoid a UFO? You will. Not particularly interested in the melting point of steel girders? Tough luck.
Not everyone who smokes weed is an intolerable bore. Not every stoner has a PhD from the University of Wikipedia and a semi-working knowledge of what the large hadron collider does. But fucking hell, a lot of them do, and trust me on this: it's impossible to convince them that you have zero interest in one of their lemon haze lectures. People who are very, very stoned tend not to pick up on basic visual cues—like the rolling of one or both eyes, or the tying of an invisible noose around your neck, or when you're making it blatantly clear you want to leave by entirely removing yourself from the room.
Generally, the longer you've been wherever your boyfriend's clients are getting high, the more the sedative effect has kicked in, and the more inane they become. Mind you, there are exceptions to the rule: I once saw a couple take turns on a bong like it was a portable oxygen tank, before heading into the next room to have a wall-rattling, furniture-smashing fight. I mean, it still wasn't the best Tuesday I've ever had, but it was far more interesting than hearing what a man with a Super Mario Bros poster on his wall thinks about Marxism.
Watch: Kings of Cannabis
IF ONE OF HIS CLIENTS ASKS YOU FOR A FAVOR, For Fuck's Sake, SAY NO
We all know that weed makes you sleepy and forgetful, among all the other apparently desirable outcomes, but one thing you've really got to look out for is its ability to make people lose all sense of rational perspective.
One of my boyfriend's customers, for example, once called him and asked to be picked up from a rave because he'd done too much K to get behind the wheel. That experience was the first time I'd seen a dealer do anything for a customer other than sell them drugs, and I soon understood why: we picked the guy up and he immediately started a small fire in the back seat after dropping a spliff and not being able to locate it (ketamine can make doing absolutely anything tricky).
Point is: don't do anyone any favors, because it's highly likely you'll end up getting fucked over by someone whose only involvement in your life is a stunted, bi-weekly exchange of cash for drugs.
WORKING NINE TO FIVE AND LIVING WITH A DEALER DOESN'T MIX
Weed gets everywhere. If your flavor of work necessitates any kind of situation where you might interact with people whose job it is to rifle through your stuff, check your pockets, wallet, and bag thoroughly before leaving the house.
While working as a reporter, I regularly had to cover court cases. One Monday morning I threw on the jacket I'd been wearing over the weekend and headed to a local courthouse to sit in on a trafficking case. Approaching the police, security guards, and metal detector at the entrance, I emptied my pockets into the tray as asked, same deal as at the airport. Pens, notepads, screwed up bits of paper, small change, cigarettes, a couple of loose Starburst (breakfast), and a bag of weed. A fucking bag of weed I had no idea was on my person.
I pictured kissing my job, my house, and my otherwise sound reputation goodbye as I calmly stepped through the gates, before secreting the items in the tray back into my pockets. I'd made smalltalk with the various officers so many times at this point that they didn't so much as glance at the contraband I'd coolly dropped in front of their very eyes. But I was lucky; chances are you don't regularly make smalltalk with police officers. I'm exceptionally lucky I didn't get a hand up my ass that day.
GET READY TO DEAL WITH A CRUSHING SENSE OF PARANOIA
Imagine that feeling right before a math exam, where you're pretty certain an isosceles triangle is the one with two equal sides, but also you can't really concentrate on remembering because it feels like the front bit of your brain is melting and about to leak through your tear ducts. Both of us had that pervading sense of dread hanging over us the entire time, only instead of a bad grade the worst possible outcome was prison. This may not be the best mindset in which to conduct a relationship.
Alongside the custodial worries, we also had parents to fret over. The whole flat stank of skunk, and it was only a matter of time before questions about "that funny smell" and "those posh boys at the window with dreadlocks and bead bracelets" turned into a heartbroken mom and dad.
My boyfriend kept most of his cash in a hollowed-out Bible and most of the weed in a chest on a side table, because he's an idiot. Lord knows what we would have done if one of our parents decided to consult the Good Book or check out the interior lacquering on that chest, but it would presumably involve heart palpitations and a stern lecture from my dad about how he never thought his daughter would turn into a "weed addict." "What next?" your dad is saying. "Next you'll be wanting to go to Glastonbury!"
Top tip: make sure your boyfriend keeps his stash somewhere even Inspector Morse couldn't find it.
HE WILL THINK DEALING MAKES HIM COOL (SPOILER ALERT: IT WILL NOT)
Most of us aren't averse to the idea of being incredibly rich and having a lot of free time. However, a big problem with being in your 20s is that it's very unlikely you'll be able to achieve either of those things; the majority of us are both time-poor and just generally poor. So when your job means not going to an office and making quite a decent amount of money for doing relatively little actual work, it's easy to understand why one might let the situation go to their head.
However, there's nothing glamorous about selling weed or going out with someone who sells weed, unless your definition of glamorous is watching your boyfriend look at his iPhone a lot. Because unless you enforce working hours, the fucker is never off the clock. On a date, with friends, watching TV, eating, sleeping, or fucking, his master's voice will call him, and he will follow its command.
There's the rub: because he's rarely around, and when he is you'll never have his full attention, you'll either think he's cheating (your friends will make fun jokes about you being "paranoid," which will be always be hilarious), or you'll be so starved of time together that you'll follow him out on all-hours drug deals just to hang out. You'll often pray the next phone call will be a PPI claim, is how desperate it gets. But it won't be: it'll be some trust fund kid who calls himself "Blazer" and "needs a really fucking good ounce of kush right about now."
And before you know it, Blazer is in your front room, drinking your tea and making your surrounding curtains twitch, and stonily confiding in you both about his recent car accident / failed relationship / redundancy / how well he's been doing with his plan to stop smoking weed ("This is probably, like, the last ounce I'll buy, then I figure just going cold turkey is the best plan," Blazer says, before getting a literal fucking hacky sack out of his pocket), and you realize you haven't had sex in months—high or otherwise—and that the last time you ate something that wasn't from a McDonald's drive-thru was over a week ago, and you have a little nug of weed in your hair, and Blazer is in your toilet, pissing mainly over the seat but a little bit in the pan, and he is telling you that you shouldn't flush it away because "flushing toilets is a Big Energy con, actually," and you pack a small bag of things and go to your mom's house.
In short, ignoring your girlfriend in favor of making a tiny bit of profit isn't cool, even if you do it all in a Golf GTI and an inexplicably expensive pair of jeans.