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Wednesday, August 29,2012

Welcome Week a high time for dealers

by Sam Inglot
With a new school year comes Welcome Week. With Welcome Week come parties. And with parties, more often than not, comes pot.

To get a sense of what this time of year means for all those illegal dealers out there, City Pulse sat down with two of them who used to do it. We will call them Joe, who is 26, and Garth, who is 23. Both recently graduated from MSU and both have also gotten out of the pot-dealing game. And both agree that when the students come back, so does business.

“With MSU, in general, the business fluctuates with the school year,” Joe said. “When the students come back, there is a huge influx.

“People are passing J’s around during Welcome Week parties and you drop your pitch. You tell them you can get them better stuff for cheaper.”

Joe and Garth both ran similar operations in the sativa-slinging industry, sticking to small amounts and a small cohort of clients. 

Garth started selling quarter pounds of cannabis out of the dorms as a freshman in the Brody Complex. Later in his career, he was averaging an ounce a week. He said he procured his supply from someone who was buying directly from local growers. 

He said his concerns about law enforcement shrank as he grew wiser to the game. He has never had any drug-related run-ins with the law. As to how he avoided getting caught for four years, he was fairly … blunt. 

“I know this sounds a little vague, but I didn’t sell any to fucking idiots,” he said. “I didn’t sell to stupid people, basically. I had friends that needed it and I liked to provide a good service to my friends. It paid for my drinking to a degree.”

Garth said he knew of at least 20 people on campus who were selling at or just above his level. But for Garth, with graduation, comes retirement.

“I’m done — college is over,” he said. “I got through it all clean, there were no run-ins with the law and fuck it, I am hanging up my coat while I’m ahead and I’m done.”

Whether Garth knew Joe as one of the campus pot dealers is a mystery. Joe, who has never been caught, sold weed from the age of 14 to the time he graduated. Before enrolling at MSU, he would sell up to 10 pounds a week, which dropped to a quarter pound once he started classes. Even though he wasn’t a student for most of his selling days, he said his “primary market” was always MSU.

But while getting high, and maybe selling a little on the side, is part of many a student’s college career, you can’t ignore the underbelly of cannabis. Unfortunately, it’s still a Schedule I drug, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (even though several states, including Michigan, have laws allowing for its medicinal use). And who knows where that cheap, brown shwag came from? A Mexican drug cartel? 

Being a student and getting caught with cannabis can have serious consequences — not only for your wallet and time, but for your education. If you’re a student, the likely possession misdemeanor you’ll get slapped with should be the least of your worries. Federal law says that a student convicted of an offense under any state or federal law regarding the possession of marijuana will be ineligible to receive any grant, loan or work assistance. The first time you’re caught it’s a year of ineligibility; second offense is two years; and if you’re caught a third time, you can say goodbye to any financial help forever. The penalties are even stiffer for selling pot, with a two-year ineligibility for the first offense and indefinite ineligibility for a second time.

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