North America’s stubbornly ridiculous marijuana laws have created a very unique line of work for those willing to seriously break them. With legalization in the indiscernibly distant future and the demand for cannabis steadily growing, so do the opportunities for those in the frequently long chain that brings pot from grower to smoker.
While some dealers see themselves as freedom fighters delivering mind-expanding herb to people suffering under an oppressive regime, others would push crack to preschoolers if there were a market for it. Most, however, simply find themselves in a position to make relatively easy money by taking a few risks.
Love them or hate them, they’ll be around till North America pulls its head out of its ass and makes them unnecessary, so you may as well get to know them. Whether you are a large or small-scale dealer, or simply an inquisitive connoisseur hoping to learn more about these opportunists who connect you with the chronic you love, this guide will help you make informed decisions about the people you choose to buy from.
After extensive fieldwork and the compilation and interpretation of a great deal of data, the author has narrowed the broad spectrum of pot dealers into ten “Types.” Below is a listing of their identifying characteristics including physical appearance, pros and cons of dealing with them, any warnings that may apply, the name they generally refer to their product as, and any catchphrases that may help you spot the type of dealer taking bong hits on your couch.
Characteristics: This is the guy you met at Burning Man or Reggae on the River who you run into occasionally at the coffee shop or natural food store. Most of your hippie friends have assured you he’s a kind soul, but while he’s exploring the nature of the cosmos with a mellow sister he just met, you’re sitting at home getting hassled by customers you said you’d hook up three hours ago. The Lagging Mystic will teach you that patience is a virtue.
Appearance: Most Mystics under forty have dreadlocks and Rasta-themed clothing, whereas mystics over forty wear sandals and tie-dye. Hemp clothing is mandatory for both.
Pros: Always has the best outdoor organic at reasonable prices.
Cons: Lacks a linear conception of time, does not believe in urgency and has no phone.
Warning: Requires an open mind, schedule, and the ability to listen to long, dragging accounts of his most recent spiritual awakening or communion with the most high.
Calls his weed: Medicine, Herb, Sacrament.
Catchphrase: “This strain of herb, brethren, has been blessed by shaman, Jerry, and the Most High.”
Characteristics: This guy might be a Mexican gangster, an old hippie who complains that “pot is just too strong these days,” or anyone more concerned with profit than reputation. His weed is often vacuum-sealed and squeezed into rock-hard chunks from its journey out of British Columbia or Mexico. It may have been grown with chemicals and pesticides labeled “for use on ornamental plants only.” It also may have suffered frostbite, premature harvest, or a little too much time crated up in some mafia goon’s basement, giving it that aroma you normally associate with your grandma’s rest home.
Appearance: The Schwag Lord takes many forms.
Pros: If you have the right type of clientele, you can make a lot of money with this guy.
Cons: Your friends will make fun of you.
Warning: Smoking mold causes lung infections.
Calls his weed: Product, B-grade, Work.
Catchphrase: “Don’t be fooled by the look, taste and smell—it’s fuckin’ stony.”
Characteristics: Chances are, you’ve known this guy less than an hour. He calls you bro and appears to have all the same opinions and interests that you do. His eyes dart around a lot, and he never actually looks at you, but he seems cool. If you just chill out at his bro’s house, or around the corner, he’ll be back in fifteen minutes.
Appearance: White T-shirt, backwards baseball cap, small, cheap gold chain. Crooked teeth and meth sores are optional, but without fail sports a ponytail.
Pros: If he’s a large-scale Rip-Off artist, he may actually hook you up with a good deal the first time so he can gain your trust. He also helps rid you of any naïveté, any ideas that if you show people trust and respect they’ll do the same, that you may still cling to.
Cons: This one’s a no-brainer. And don’t think you can find him and get your money back, because he won’t have it. His mom is still trying to get that dime bag he promised her a few years back.
Warning: Check for ponytail. Unless it is accompanied by a beard or other hippie accoutrements, do not give him your money.
Calls his weed: Chronic nuggets.
Catchphrase: “Hey bro, lookin’ for any chronic nuggets?”
Characteristics: This guy was annoying back in high school, and he’s even more annoying now that you have to buy weed from him. No matter what strain you have, it never seems to be good enough for him to smoke. Says things like, “I’m really in more of a Jack Herer mood right now,” or “You look like a Big Bud kind of guy.” Also uses terms like “bouquet,” “aroma” and “woody aftertaste.”
Appearance: An air of smug superiority and vague disgust surrounds him. Wears that stupid 1998 Cannabis Cup Judge T-shirt every day.
Pros: Always has the best weed in town at any given time.
Cons: Rarely has anything for sale since “there’s nothing worth buying.” And you can be damn sure it won’t be cheap if he does.
Warning: Use extreme caution when matching bowls with the Weed Snob. Only European strains are recommended. If the Weed Snob catches you in possession of anything you bought from The Schwag Lord, mockery, and in some extreme cases, violence, may ensue.
Calls his weed: Grade A Smoke, The Good Stuff.
Catchphrase: “Eww…how can you even smoke this? What is this, Mex?"
Type: The Gangster
Characteristics: Once the Rip-Off artist realizes that sometimes you can make more consistent money by actually hooking people up rather than ripping them off, he becomes The Gangster. You still don’t really know him that well, but you’re pretty sure he has connections to organized crime, and sells a lot more than just weed.
Appearance: The Gangster does not believe in saving money, spending it on his illegitimate children, or welfare family. Therefore, with the exception of strippers and cocaine, The Gangster spends all his money on gold chains, watches, athletic clothes, and other forms of bling.
Pros: Has great, reliable deals on commercial stuff. Can help you out with any other illegal goods or services you may want.
Cons: He’s on probation, the cops are probably watching him, and bigger fish periodically rob him. And when he gets hard up for cash, he robs the weed cutsies first.
Warning: Small bills anger him.
Calls his weed: Trees, Product, The Stuff.
Catchphrase: “Hey what the fuck did I tell you about tens, bitch?”
Type: Mr. Paranoia
Characteristics: The guy’s a total sketcher. Phone conversations with him involve so many pointless code words and jargon that you both hang up with only vague ideas about what the other was trying to say. In person, he whispers any words that might be considered incriminating, and flips out if you forget to follow one of the bizarre rules he’s given you, or one he just made up, or if his brain chemistry is off that day.
Appearance: An aura of shadiness surrounds him. The brim of his hat always seems to cover his beady, darting eyes. In a lineup with the other nine Types, he’d be the easiest to identify as a drug dealer.
Pros: Mr. Paranoia is your bright warning beacon. Is this the kind of life you want to lead?
Cons: Paranoia, as the saying goes, is contagious. Hanging out with this guy outside of work will shorten your life expectancy.
Warning: At first, you and your friends might just think he’s really clever. He’s not.
Calls his weed: Those movies you wanted, the new Green Day CD, that one thing we talked about last Wednesday except this time three quarters of it is brown cow status and another half is on the high end of the Red Baron’s lawnmower.
Catchphrase: “Are you sure that old lady sleeping on the bench across the street from your apartment is chill? Was that a siren? Do you hear helicopters?”
Type: Mr. Medical
Characteristics: This lucky son of bitch has a license to grow, and possess, more weed than he could ever smoke. Depending on where you live and how strict the laws are, Mr. Medical may actually have a condition that can only be treated by cannabis. Most likely, however, he was just smart enough to work the system. As a result, he has the cheapest, freshest weed around every three months or so. Though seeing Mr. Medi’s grow room stirs feelings of jealousy in you, it also makes you want to quit hustling and grow your own crop.
Appearance: Mr. Medi may have a wheelchair, crutches, or another physical ailment, but there’s always a grin on his face.
Pros: Cheap weed, the chance to use a vaporizer, and the possibility that if you hang around him long enough he’ll designate you as his caretaker.
Cons: Sometimes Mr. Medical forgets that just because it’s currently relatively legal for him to grow and possess it, that doesn’t make it legal for him to sell it to you. He refuses to be discrete about anything, ever, and occasionally teases you about being paranoid.
Warning: May show up on your doorstep with a transparent turkey bag full of medicine slung over his shoulder.
Calls his weed: Medicine, what else?
Catchphrase: “It’s just a plant, man. Don’t worry so much.”
Type: The Street Kid
Characteristics: You remember this guy—you bought your first bag from him. Or, you may have utilized his services while vacationing in a strange new city. In any case, while you were watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating mom’s special blueberry pancakes, this kid was on the street, hustling. When he’s not in Juvie or a halfway home, he’s on the corner pushing dime bags as fast as you can smoke them.
Appearance: Wears pants so big you can’t tell if he’s got shoes, but you can sure as hell see every inch of his boxer shorts. Wears the same ratty hoodie and low-slung backpack every day.
Pros: He’s all over the world, in every city, and he always introduces himself.
Cons: Some of his bags are a bit skimpy, but do you really want to call him on it? He hasn’t eaten all day! Also, after having his pockets and backpack searched every week by the cops, you don’t even want to know where he keeps his weed now…
Warning: CHECK FOR PONYTAIL! Do not be fooled by a Rip-Off Artist in disguise.
Calls his weed: Every name you’ve heard of, plus a few you haven’t.
Catchphrase: “Weedsmoke! Bud for sale! Need some herb, dude?”
Type: The Walking Party/Bust Waiting to Happen
Characteristics: This guy keeps a high profile. There are at least ten people in his apartment/dorm at all times, usually drunk. Since he knows every dealer in town, as they’ve all been to a party at his house at some point, he usually has good herb for a good price. Snowboarding trips and concerts aside, he’s always home, so if you don’t mind waiting in line to buy weed he’s not a bad guy to know.
Appearance: You’ve never seen him without shorts, sandals, slitty sunglasses, and a beer in his hand. He frequently wears Hawaiian shirts and visor caps as well.
Pros: He’s fun to hang out with, and his pad is a great place to make connections.
Cons: It’s also a great place to make unwanted connections.
Warning: Since the entire apartment complex knows this guy is a dealer, it’s only a matter of time before a sleep-deprived neighbor rats him out and he gets busted. Don’t be there when it happens.
Calls his weed: Chron-chron, Chrizon, Doj.
Catchphrase: “Hey-haaay! Whatuuup, dogger!”
Type: Johnny Dependable
Characteristics: This is the guy you want to know. He’s got a strong work ethic and such a low profile that you may already know him. However, you’ll probably have to be in the weed circuit for a while before he reveals himself as a professional pot dealer. He would’ve been great at any number of professions, but somehow he got into dealing weed and still hasn’t found a comparable way to make his money legally. If you’re a dealer, learn from him.
Appearance: Nondescript, unassuming. He probably looks like “the boy next door.”
Pros: This guy has weed nine out of ten times when you call him, and he somehow always manages to fit you into his schedule later that day. Never flakes on you or tries to act important.
Cons: His deals are always good, but rarely exceptional. He’s a shrewd businessman trying to make a profit and his prices reflect that.
Warning: Just because Johnny Dependable is always there for you doesn’t mean you should get rid of your other dealers’ phone numbers. Unlike some of the other Types, this guy is capable of success outside of the weed game, and when he graduates he may leave you high and dry.
Calls his weed: Weed.
Catchphrase: “See you in ten minutes.”