Jeff Winkler interviews a small-time dealer for his perspective.

The basics:

How long have you been selling?
I started in 2006 and, like most other dealers, started by being a heavy user of the product. I realized that if I bought in bulk and sold some of it, then I could essentially smoke for free. I wasn’t making any money at first. It actually took up to this past year for me to begin seeing any kind of profit off of it. And it wasn’t until I curbed my own habit that I started to see that.

Is this like those rules you mentioned the other day?
That’s the Ten Crack Commandments, by Notorious BIG — “Don’t get high on your own supply.” That’s rule number … well, I can’t remember if that’s actually rule number one. But it should be number one.

The customers:

When dealing with “customers,” are you just always thinking in really economic terms then?
Very much so, actually. With most of my customers, once I get to wherever we’re meeting, it takes less than five minutes. I’m very economical when it comes to my transactions with my customers. At this point, there is one customer I will smoke with; a kid who I happen to see some qualities of myself. He seems to enjoy my company, and he’s also given me several clients. He’s actually given me my largest client and that’s about it. But he’s helped me out in other ways. So I’ll take the time.

And that’s sort of another thing. Occasionally, you have to play politics to groom people to get them to buy a little bit more. You sort of, like, … it’s mingling. You have to rub elbows a little bit. Or if someone is the type of customer that’s loyal and is going to buy frequently and they need that interaction, they need you to sort of engage them …

The money:

What do you buy with your drug profits?
Well, it depends on where I’m at in my life. If I just need money to survive on, then I’m using it to survive. If I need it for luxuries or commodities then I use it for that. It’s basically, like, I make the money, and I spend it almost as soon as I have it, which is not a good business practice. But I am militant enough that I can always have what I need to get more.

It sounds almost like you’re basically living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Yeah, essentially it is the same as living paycheck-to-paycheck, which is sort of a sad fact and kind of why I’m doing this in the first place, because you know what, paycheck-to-paycheck isn’t enough anymore. I know so many people who live paycheck-to-paycheck and they can’t afford any sort of luxury for themselves because of that. And this is a way I can afford small luxuries for myself.