“Yeah you’re seeing kids who still have braces looking like Mick Jagger at these parties. It’s fucked, they’re definitely getting exposed at a younger and younger age. It’s definitely a problem at Acadia.”
Disclaimer: This article, as an investigative piece, in no way reflects the habits of the average student at Acadia University. It in no way condones the use, abuse, or sale of narcotics to the student body or in general. This article will not be directed at any one person or group due to the sensitive nature of the content. The interviewee agreed to the interview on the condition of total and complete anonymity. Put simply, this is one interview, of one person, for one purpose. That purpose is to discover what I would imagine to be what occurs on most university campuses nationally. This is in no way a reflection of myself or any person or persons with whom I associate myself. To be perfectly clear, there are a lot of choices made during your time in university and for some people, at some times, the choice to do cocaine is one of them.
Cocaine at Acadia is nothing new. Mostly seen at parties and in the bars but you’ve likely seen it at least a couple times. It’s at the (insert major here)’s house, it’s at the party down the street, it’s on the coffee table at a late night get together, it’s definitely on the guy or girl who spends a little too much time in the bathroom. Definitely not something as pervasive as the use of marijuana, but it is there. The inspiration for this article came to me as a result of hearing it mentioned more than occasionally. The investigation that took place for this interview was not extensive. A friend of a friend of a friend sort of situation where you ask around and simply find yourself someone who sells cocaine to a large student clientele here at Acadia. For the purposes of this article we’ll simply call my source “Tony”. Here’s the full transcript of our interview:
I am here interviewing my anonymous source, I believe it is the 27th or 28th of October. This is for the article titled “Pushing Coke at Acadia, an Interview” it should be published for The Athenaeum in the coming weeks. Obviously I’m required to tell you this is an anonymous interview and you’re not required to answer any of these questions, however your cooperation is very much appreciated. So we’ll start today with the first question.
What was the first exposure you had to cocaine here at Acadia?
My first exposure, I guess, would have just been through different friends in the party scene, you know, people going sort of just behind a door or looks given to each other. There is sort of vibe that you can just pick up and so once you become close enough with those people that you can get into that door or into those rooms, it will happen. Then its just sort of loose after that.
So you did decide to start selling cocaine at Acadia is that correct?
Why did you start to deal? I mean what was the attraction?
It kind of came up all of a sudden, really. The attraction was money, money was a big factor. One thing also was that I knew people I could get it from and other people didn’t. I was sort of a middleman, and I took advantage of that opportunity.
So these people you say that you knew you could get it off of, would you describe them as members of the criminal underworld, were they higher level drug dealers or were they members of the community?
I wouldn’t say that there is any sort of master criminal underworld but maybe some higher levels in the numbers that they are pushing. Nothing too crazy.
So obviously the ‘sexy’ nature of this article is going to be in the quantities and how pervasive this is believed to be in the community. So this really brings us to our next question, what is the largest quantity of cocaine you’ve ever had at one time?
The largest quantity of cocaine I’ve ever had at one time would be around fifteen grams. I was always a very low level dealer in that sense.
What would you estimate the street value of that to be?
Oh I cant remember, I’ve since stopped.
Of course. You’re out of it now right?
Yeah I’m out of the game now. I mean I would get relatively good deals from the person I was buying off of, especially when buying in large quantities. I would sometimes be able to get it for twenty or thirty dollars [a gram] less than I would sell it for. The attraction of a cut for myself was definitely enticing.
What can you comfortably tell me about yourself?
About myself? Hmmm. I’m not your stereotypical drug dealer I guess. That’s all I can really say.
Who, obviously without giving specifics, was your clientele here at Acadia?
It would be anyone from students to non-students. Age would range as well, freshmen going up into middle aged men. Sometimes, I didn’t deal with just the student population.
Would you say the majority of your clientele was students?
Majority were students, yes.
What demographic would you say is the largest user of cocaine here?
I would say that it’s hard for me to make a generalization like that. Just because of certain people that I’m exposed to. For me. mostly just white guys and girls. But again, that was the sort of circle that I was exposed to. I would say typically middle/upper-class individuals. Definitely privileged individuals.
So I guess… would you say cocaine is a drug of privilege?
I mean with the various definitions that privilege has had would you say, lets say, just your take on it. Would you say cocaine is a drug of privilege?
I would say that yes, it definitely has that reputation of a rich mans drug. And it is almost a sad thing because it can turn a rich man into a poor man very quickly. I would say yes there is a sense of cost when you’re trying to get it. Especially if you’re a dealer there is a huge cost to it that you have to pay off to someone who is going to be very angry if they cant pay off the next guy in the chain. There is a kind of money you need to bring to it.
What would you say, I mean in your experience what would you say the average price range people are comfortable with?
Per gram? Sixty to seventy dollars. Depending on a few things, it ranges based on the dealer and what they charge, the quality of your product. For example: if I felt that I certain batch I had gotten was of lower quality I would price down initially. Vice versa if I got something that was a higher quality I would price up. so sixty to eighty dollars max.
Have you ever sold any drugs other than cocaine here at Acadia?
Some MDMA (ecstasy) and some marijuana. During my time as a dealer, cocaine was the main thing.
Just a few more questions here Tony. Were you ever scared of getting caught?
Oh one hundred percent! Definitely but uh, (sic.) without tooting my own horn I like to think that I was one of the smarter individuals in that game. I was always cautious, never really reckless. Well… maybe reckless sometimes, but always smart about it.
Yeah that was my main question coming here like I would be super scared of getting caught.
Everyone is always worried about it and the people that aren’t are the ones that get caught. Right? The people who aren’t scared are the ones not playing the game.
I mean like… fifteen grams of cocaine is a lot to have at once, I mean relatively speaking, and legally its way too much to get caught with. It doesn’t take a genius to know the legal ramifications of that would be huge.
Oh yeah for sure.
My main question, (sic.) not my main question but an important question is, what made you agree to this interview?
I’m out of that sort of lifestyle at the moment. It’s not something I’m currently doing, I guess I’m not your stereotypical drug dealer. I have no problem discussing it in certain veins, when it’s to help people have safe experiences. That’s why I was always honest in any sort of dealings. If a batch was low quality I would tell them that that was why I was pricing it down and that it wasn’t necessarily top quality. So there is a certain sort of honesty that needs to be had within that sort of experience especially with fentanyl going around, people were extremely on edge. There always needs to be a level of awareness in the community that would do it. I felt as a dealer at the time that was by far my responsibility to be honest with people I’m selling to. Too often you hear about dealers that are trying to rip people off or are straight up selling fentanyl and I don’t want to have any fucking part of that.
Were you ever concerned about something nefarious being in the product you were selling?
Absolutely. That’s why I always watched my dealer do some of what he was bagging up for me before I bought it or I would do it before I sold it. If I had any doubts I just wouldn’t sell it.
What would you estimate the amount of money you made was and how long were you involved in the trade for?
I guess… Just under a year I probably made… let me just do some quick mental math here… I guess in that year I would have made around five or six thousand dollars.
If you’ve been exposed to the lifestyle since what would you say that your experience was like? I mean how pervasive is cocaine on campus? Would you say that it is something you hear people frequently doing? Once a week? Once a month? I mean obviously the circles that you and I run with are very different but what would your assessment of the current cocaine culture be?
You mean the sprawl of it? I would say on a weekend to weekend basis it isn’t huge. It would be rare or questioned if just on a random Vil night (Editor’s note: The Vil is Acadia’s ‘nightclub’) or random weekend you were doing blow. Obviously your big events, your big days, are going to get more of an attraction. However, I would say it’s definitely not a taboo subject amongst students. Like for instance that “behind closed doors” thing that I was talking about sort of looks that everyone was getting? That is not a “Oh I wonder what they’re doing?” kind of a thing anymore, everyone is aware of what is going on.
Everyone is aware that behind closed doors, I mean its not even a question, I say this in the preamble to the article. You see three or four people whether its male or female walk into a bathroom together there is absolutely no question that some or all of them are going in there to do cocaine.
Exactly. It’s not a shock for other people to see it around. I wouldn’t say its as ubiquitous or as easy to get as marijuana, nothing will ever surpass that, but definitely getting very close to that.
Well, I mean, yeah! It’s pretty easy to get. There’s people who are coming from out of town to me and they say hey can you still set this up for me? I mean people know who to call they know who to get it from. There are no surprises it really isn’t that hard to get. I mean there is something I’m starting to notice and maybe its me getting into my old age but people I’m noticing, kids coming in, frosh this year (2017) are getting it much quicker than we were when we got exposed to it. A hundred percent faster, I would say. Which is very strange, like it was the first time I was like “oh kids these days” but you definitely shouldn’t be saying it with shit like this. I mean its one thing to say “kids these days with their iPhones”
Yeah its quite another to say “kids these days with their cocaine”. I mean it’s a little wild like you do go to parties sometimes and you see, I mean I’m only 21 so I’m not that old but you see people who are basically fresh out of high school.
Yeah you’re seeing kids who still have braces looking like Mick Jagger at these parties. It’s fucked, they’re definitely getting exposed at a younger and younger age. It’s definitely a problem at Acadia.
So, I don’t know if you’re heard the Biggie Smalls song “The Ten Crack Commandments” basically Biggie gives ten rules for selling crack, I mean crack cocaine and cocaine are not really very different. I’m going to ask your opinion on one of the rules and I’m sure you’ve heard it before but “never get high on your own supply” thoughts?
Oh my goodness does that ever ring true. Well, yeah especially with, especially with cocaine. With pot its one thing you can somewhat control yourself. The sneaky thing with cocaine is that there is sort of a culture around it where like “this is for me, fuck everybody else”. Like if you’re sharing a bag with friends, everybody is going to pour a little bit bigger of a line for themselves, you know? the addictive nature kind of sneaks up on you, you don’t really realize that its happening. Once you start realizing, like holy shit I have 15 grams of this awesome stuff just in front of me I can quickly just pop a little line off for myself, but that quickly becomes gram lines that you’re cutting, you’re cutting whatever. Then it’s just you doing it on your own supply but then once friends know you’re dong your own supply close friends want to come in and take bumps with you. It’s not just you you have to watch out for, it’s everybody else.
With something like that you really get into trouble when you come up short. This happened to me once where you’ll end up short money because you’ve given out too many lines or you’re taken too many and then you have to pay off what you’ve been fronted. Once you’re down that rabbit hole you start to get into debt with people and thats when it starts to get dangerous.
Would you say that drug dealers were universally comfortable fronting you larger quantities of cocaine?
I would say that they were universally comfortable with it. But I also had that reputation that I always paid them back, and paid them on time. I never showed up a day late and a dollar short.
Whats the largest quantity that you’ve ever been fronted?
Jesus Christ. You’re nuts, I’ll… I’ll phrase it as a question because I think it would be a good conclusion to the article. A lot of people, I mean our readers, would say that you’re a bit of a wild man, a reckless guy I guess. I mean to sell drugs to university students you do have to have a little bit of a reckless spirit.
Wild man? I would say goddamn right I’m a wild man.
I think we’re good to conclude on that remark. thank you very much for your contribution Tony.
Thanks. I look forward to reading.
Christopher Vanderburgh is a fourth year Politics student and Features Editor of The Athenaeum
Write for The Athenaeum. Acadia’s student newspaper, since 1874.