Jobs to get Jealous of: Drug Dealing
In accordance with Vulture’s dedication to bringing you the most interesting articles on the WWW we continue our ‘Jobs to get Jealous of’ column. Please note that Vulture in no way condones drug use or drug taking, and that we are reporting on a particular profession, albeit an illegal one. Our sources are confidential and we respect their privacy and also value their input into this matter. That being said, let’s get into this juicy topic!
Without presuming where our readers might stand on the many and complex issues surrounding drug trafficking and use, the Vulture feels comfortable in the assumption that – in one way or another – illicit drugs have crossed all of our paths at some point.
Whether you’re a staunch non-partaker, the smoker of the cheeky lunch-break joint, or a regular 5AM worshipper at the stainless steel, nose-level altars in the Pony toilets, others around you are consuming illicit drugs almost as much as they’re enjoying the officially-approved pleasures of booze and cigarettes.
Demand is high, and where there’s demand the machinery of supply will construct itself irrespective of the law. Seeking the perspective of a component in this machine, the Vulture caught up with ‘Bert’ to have a chat about speed, tradies, police entrapment, and the life of a Melbourne drug dealer.
V: How did you first get into dealing? Is it something you decided you wanted, and sought out the connections? Or did the opportunity simply present itself to you?
B: I started off when I was probably seventeen, going out, taking pills; and then one thing led to another, I got in contact with a mate who could get them cheaper and it sort of went from there. I pretty much just had a market and was like ‘fuck it, I’ll just buy some.’
V: What do you predominantly deal at the moment?
B: Mainly speed. I deal base speed, so the stuff before it’s cut.
V: Is it hard to come by that kind of stuff?
B: Nah man, just go out to a club it’s fucking everywhere. Not hard to come by at all.
V: No I mean your connection. Is it hard to come by a good connection as a dealer?
B: Yeah it’s hard to come by a good source, but once you find one you’ve got your foot in the door. You can even go a couple of years without seeing them and call them up and they’re sweet.
V: So you do most of your dealing in clubs? Does that ever cause issues with other dealers?
B: It can, but that’s never happened to me. I know some people who it’s happened to, where things have got a little messy.
V: So you’ve never found yourself in situations like that? Have things ever got ugly through your work?
B: Yeah once. We were dealing something to this person, and he gave us the money, we handed him the goods, and he pulls a gun on us and says, ‘I’ll have my money back now, thanks.’ Nothing really to do but give him the money.
V: Fair enough. I take it you use speed yourself?
B: Yeah man definitely!
V: Does this interfere with the business side of things at all? I mean, as per the cliché warning against ‘getting high off your own supply’?
B: Yeah it can. I was at a drug party on the weekend; I went through about four grams of just giving it away. That’s out of my pocket. A lot of happy people!
V: I guess that’s what it’s all about right?
B: That’s it.
V: So is it a misconception that there’s shitloads of money in dealing?
B: Oh man, there’s a lot of money to be made, so much money. Money that you – you couldn’t even think of. You just need to, well, taking drugs yourself I guess is a bad thing – I know one drug dealer who moves the same amount I do, and he just makes uncontrollable amounts of cash, because he doesn’t take the drugs.
V: So a lot of the money coming in is eaten up by drug use itself?
B: Drug use and everything associated, like going out, clubs, taxis here, taxis there, drinks. I mean when you’re on this drug [speed] you drink a lot more than you would if you were normal, you know.
V: It’s such a social product, do you find it hard to make a division between your friends and your customers? Who wants to hang out and who wants to freeload drugs?
B: Yeah definitely. I know people who will only ever call me if I’ve got weight on me, and they’ll say ‘hey, come out’ cause they know that there’s things involved. And I’ve done the same thing before, so…
V: If drug dealing was made legal tomorrow, would you rent a shopfront and start dealing legitimately?
B: I’m not very good at a lot of things in my life, but I am good at this, so I’d probably think about it. But there’s a lot of people a lot bigger than I am – I’m not as big as half the people I know – and I’m sure they would [go into business] too.
V: If speed and MDMA were taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco, the profits would be lower but the risk would be lower too. Would the decreased risk be worth the decreased income?
B: It would probably take a lot of the fun out of it. I enjoy doing this thing. I know that it’s probably not a good thing, but you kinda have that respect from people, when you’re at a club and people ask ‘can you get anything?’ and you’re like ‘yeah, yeah I can’, you know what I mean? They kinda give you that respect. I think if you were dealing drugs out of a shopfront, that would be gone.
V: So the respect is important
B: Yeah definitely
V: We wanted to ask about the different kinds of drug user, and whether they live up to their stereotypes. Are your customers all twitching from one side of the room to the other, scratching at their arms?
B: I actually deal to a lot of pen pushers, like, office types. They love it. Speed is massive in the trade industry too. I’m in a trade, and people are on it all the time. Anything to keep you awake and alert, get you charging a little bit more to get a bit more done.
V: So people aren’t necessarily just taking speed to get high and have fun?
B: Nah man, it’s a drug of dependency. A lot of building sites that I go on, a lot of people are on them all the time, purely so they can get more work done and so they don’t get tired
V: Can that cause problems?
B: Definitely, I’ve seen people snap and crack the shits at people for no reason; I mean I’ve probably been guilty of that as well. [It’s] very common. A lot more common than people would know.
V: Are the government’s anti-drug campaigns an accurate representation of drug users in your experience of them?
B: Nah. They’re focussing on one sort of genre of drug users, and for me I think that’s the people who are taking ice. Everything involved with that drug is pretty hardcore. I think they depict [drug use] as a really bad thing when it can be a beautiful thing if you know how to do it properly, and people who don’t know how to do it properly are usually the ones in the news and overdosed. No one’s educated in it.
V: D’you find people are pretty well educated on average?
B: If you’re not educated, spend a couple of weeks going out to clubs and you’ll be educated.
V: Has the law ever been a problem for you?
B: I had to run off down Chapel St once with 100 pills in my bag. And a cop bought 50 off me once. He asked for 50 pills, and I was pretty fucking jacked myself so I’m like ‘yeah sure,’ then he was looking at me weird so I just ran.
V: Isn’t that entrapment? We thought that was illegal?*
B: Yeah I dunno, but I’m not gonna go down that path!
V: So you’ve never been busted?
B: Nah, fingers crossed. Touch wood.
*Post-interview research revealed to the Vulture that police entrapment cannot be cited as a defence under Victorian law