The Digital Underground: Here’s How You Can Buy Drugs on Social Media, Right Now
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When I was younger, people bought drugs from friends. On particularly invincible nights out, they bought drugs from sketchy men in dark corners of the club. Today, the possibilities are limitless. Since 2010, the internet has facilitated countless illicit drug transactions, when the year-old “Adamflowers” marketplace moved onto the darknet and rebranded as “The Farmer’s Market,” the first major darknet marketplace for drugs. In early 2011, Silk Road opened for business and darknet marketplaces proliferated across the web. With every round of busts, the marketplace operators, vendors, and buyers learn from the mistakes of others and find new ways to protect themselves from arrest or from being ripped off. Right now, customers are buying product off Instagram, Grindr, Tinder, Whisper, Yik Yak, and more. These days, if a smartphone app is social and location-based, you can guarantee there’s a dealer near you.
But proximity doesn’t guarantee anything for the consumer. Social media apps offer little information to go by when deciding which hashtag-riddled account of Snoop Dogg memes is going to have the better product. On the street, customers and dealers can read each other face-to-face. On outlets like Silk Road, there’s feedback and reviews of buyers and sellers.
In the new, app-based drug economy, there is no reliable method for either party to establish a positive reputation. On top of that, it’s an environment with little incentive for dealers to transact honestly. So, how do you cop online without getting burned? And, if you’re dealing, how do you cultivate a reputable image that buyers can trust?
In conversations with dealers and buyers, a trend emerges among the stories of smooth transactions. Popular hashtags, like #Kush4Sale or #OGKush, are important, and a good place to start. Some users post requests but that’s the easiest way to get scammed or arrested, so, if you’re trying to buy, you’re better off searching for sellers and messaging them directly.
After hashtags come imagery—most posts selling weed use one of the following: neon fractals and bright color washes; big piles or mason jars of nugs; semi-naked young women hitting massive bongs and dutches. Emojis can be reputable indicators, too—look out for any of the following: 🌲🍁💨👌. For all drugs, 🔥 indicates quality; 🚀 is a claim to potency; and dollar signs indicate the product is for sale.
On Whisper, a messaging app that allows users to send and receive messages anonymously, two weed dealers—Tony and Jessie [ Ed. note: All names in this story have been changed .]—agreed to talk with me about their operations. Tony has been selling for nearly 10 years and said he posts pictures and then decides who to serve based on customer behavior. “I try to appeal to pretty much anyone that ain’t too sketchy,” he says. For Tony, sketchiness announces itself with “weird-ass messages” or “act[ing] nervous.” He guarantees his own safety by always carrying a gun.
“I don’t trust anyone…. I don’t wanna end up dead and chopped on a corner,” he says. “I try to distance myself with shitty [customers]. I used to sling rock when I was in the set, but when my fam was in a drive-by I stopped.”
Whether Tony was legit or playing a character is unclear, but his understanding of the business side of this underground economy is not. Tony, like many others, doesn’t actually sell online: “I post up ads online and sell offline. If I sell online, that’s suicide,” he explains. “Better to have a guy point a gun at you than the DEA have proof.” Offline, a dealer like Tony could get busted for any immediate transaction, but he would only be charged with that one crime; with digital evidence, he could wind up being prosecuted for deals conducted months or even years ago, despite those transactions not having been directly observed.
Indeed, in the indictment and at the trial for Ross Ulbricht, a.k.a. “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the former operator of Silk Road, prosecutors detailed the evidence obtained from his laptop—chat logs with his team and with vendors on the site; transaction records for vendors and buyers; extensive financial records; and Ulbricht’s personal journal. In the case of Garnett Smith, one of Baltimore’s biggest drug dealers, the DEA finally caught up with him through his Instagram photos of gold bricks, fast cars, and designer gear—for which he had no other source of income. His conspicuous wealth provided evidence of the size of his drug operation. And this is what scares Tony and others like him—not getting caught in a single deal, but having a small bust roll into charges for a lifetime’s dealing thanks to the records logged in your phone or on the servers at Instagram or Snapchat.
I don’t trust anyone…. I don’t wanna end up dead and chopped on a corner.
Still, there are indisputable benefits to app-based dealing: safety and greater visibility. Street-level drug dealers are more likely to get busted than those who deliver to customers in their homes and offices. Tony’s practice of advertising on apps exposes his business to more customers while allowing him to partially screen potential clients from a distance.
As a precaution, most dealers only use these platforms for advertising and work out the transaction details via Kik, a chatting app; the main difference is not between the various apps but between the two general styles of dealer found on these apps. There are those like Tony who advertise for face-to-face transactions and others who advertise for online transactions.
Jessie, the second Whisper dealer I spoke with, claims to have been in the game for a while, and though he was less talkative than Tony, he carefully described how he deals weed and “other things.”
“I mix it up, online and face-to-face,” he says. “I can tell if a [customer] is worth dealing with depending on what they want. I can tell by their attitude and demeanor. Body language says a lot, too.” Unlike Tony, Jessie is willing to take online payments but admitted that “online is riskier.”
His posts on the app are simpler than most, just a photo of some weed and maybe a few words on the strain. “I never straight up say I’m selling,” he says. He also uses “different accounts and nicknames”—for security purposes and publicity. When I asked how he inspired customers to trust him, or if he did anything in particular to build reputation, he replied, “Do I try? No. People come to me cuz I make sure my weed is good shit, and my prices aren’t outrageous. If I got bad shit, I’ll tell ‘em it’s not good but with enough they can get high, and I’ll cut deals if the weed isn’t good.”
When a customer logs into an app like Whisper looking to score, the person faces a barrage of marketing strategies. A search of a few common terms—420, OG Kush, Kush4Sale—leads you to confessions from teens about getting high, lonely users seeking stoned hookups (“420 and chill”), individuals looking for drugs to buy, and dealers.
“PLATINUM OG ON DECK TOP SHELF MEDICAL KUSH. Will show pics for insured quality. Hmu,” goes one post. Another advertises “OG Kush PM” with a string of emojis—the flame emoji, followed by the Christmas tree emoji, and so on. “I got the indoor OG Kush Hmu That’s it in the pic,” explains a third. Most dealers are location-based, preferring to deliver for cash. Others rely on old-fashioned postal service and require e-payment. As Jessie admits, payment options like Venmo are the obvious choice for many, but because these transactions can appear publicly (unless you change your settings) it puts the entire enterprise at risk, as happened last year to a group of kids at Columbia University. A sophomore English major-slash-dealer who asked buyers to disguise their payments with “funny” captions was busted when these same descriptions ended up tipping off the cops. No one was laughing when the NYPD showed up.
One buyer I spoke with on the phone is a friend of a friend, a college student named Charlotte, who is based in a suburban metropolitan area in the Northeast. She decided to try acid “as like a bucket list sorta thing,” and went to Yik Yak to score. It didn’t work out.
“Both times, the acid wasn’t real,” she said. “It was just a piece of paper.” As a result, she’s back to an old-school approach. “It costs less if you do it through friends,” she said, “and you’re more likely to get what you wanted.”
Another buyer I spoke to on the phone, named Max, based in a large Southern city, bought ketamine from someone he encountered on Grindr. As he put it: “I wasn’t on Grindr looking for K—I was on Grindr and found K.”
It costs less if you do it through friends and you’re more likely to get what you wanted.
Though ketamine is his “recreational drug of choice,” he’d been having difficulty finding it. “I was looking for months,” he said, “and couldn’t tap into any source. One day I’m looking on Grindr and the dude’s name is an obvious K reference and the inscription is all dollar emojis. So I messaged him: ‘Yo, K?’”
The owner of the account said yes and asked for Max’s phone number and address. Soon after, a car showed up at the address Max had given (not his home address). In the car, the dealer gave Max “a small sample.”
The sample and car interaction boded well: “I was groovy after the bump in the car. We chatted briefly; the dealer said I was hot. I bought two bags and they left.” But the ketamine in the bags was not the same as the sample—a classic bait and switch. “A couple nights later I ended up going through pretty much all of what I bought,” Max said. “It wasn’t the same stuff.”
Max is an experienced drug user and buyer who believed his instincts would serve him well in any situation that might arise. “I wasn’t concerned about safety,” he said. “The dollar signs told me he sells. I know how this works, so I have some cockiness. Worst case, there’s a gun or a knife and they take everything. I gave a fake address, and so we met on a well-lit street near bars. There were tons of people around; I only carried the cash I needed. There was another dude in the car with him and everyone was on K, including the driver. And I was drunk enough [that] I was just like, ‘Yeah.’”
Charlotte protected herself, too, by meeting in a public space and giving the dealer a vague description: “I’m wearing a gray hoodie.” Her reasoning was that, “You know there’ll be other people wearing a gray hoodie and so if you’re uncomfortable you can run away.” And the dealers she met also took precautions. She said, “Sometimes the person will ask for proof that you are a student. saying things like, ‘Could you send a picture of your [college] ID?’ You can take a screenshot and blur out your name and part of your face.”
Charlotte’s not interested in using Whisper to buy drugs again, but explained that if she had to, it wouldn’t be difficult “as long as you’re a woman who might seem attractive.” Max hasn’t been dissuaded. “I wouldn’t use that guy again,” he said, “but I would use Grindr again [for K].”
Thought it was a drought? Social media is creating a new market for users to sell and score weed, ketamine, and everything in between.
Where to Find Weed Near You ANYWHERE in 2020 (Yes, Really!)
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably typed “how to find a weed dealer near me,” in your browser, so we guess you’re not lucky enough to live in a state that recently legalized cannabis.
Some countries, like Portugal, have decriminalized almost all substances, so it’s virtually impossible to walk down the streets as a tourist without being asked if you want to try some quality greens. In California, for example, buying weed is easy as a walk to the beach — there’s no need to look for a dealer.
But for those of you torn between buying a swisher from a random guy and not buying cannabis at all, finding a weed dealer seems like the only option.
So, how to find a dealer near me? At WeBeHigh.com, we don’t want to encourage any illegal activities, so we won’t tell you how to find one. Instead, we’ll talk about how people scored their weed in 2019.
Read on and educate yourself about finding weed dealers in different places and how to take care of the necessary caution before approaching your guy.
Legal Status of Cannabis in the United States
Cannabis is still classified as Schedule I substance on the federal level. However, states have the right to implement their own regulations around the herb.
Currently, 11 states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis, including:
- Washington (and the District of Columbia)
26 out of the 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized cannabis possession. As for now, 47 of the 50 states allow for some form of medical cannabis. The only three states where weed is completely illegal are South Dakota, Nebraska, and Idaho.
Many states that have legalized cannabis have also made it possible for residents to grow their own plants. If you live in a state with medical marijuana laws, you may also consider applying for a medical cannabis card so that you can access your weed through a medical dispensary.
But if you don’t feel like growing your own stuff and don’t want to go through the bureaucracy involved in obtaining a medical cannabis card, continue reading to find out how to spot your street supplier.
Things You Need Before You Start Looking For a Weed Dealer Locally
The safest way to obtain weed from a dealer is to live in a state that has decriminalized marijuana possession. Once you’ve made your transactions, you won’t be charged with an offense as long as you have the legal amount of weed.
However, there are certain safety measures you should take if you want your purchases to remain low profile.
Make sure to do the following:
- Cover your tracks using tools like TOR browser or I2P
- Consider apps like Burner which give you a temporary phone number that you can get rid of once you’re done using it
- Stay away from mail-order deals especially if the product is crossing state lines. You’ll risk being charged with a federal offense.
- Simply type 420 in the search bar. It will return hundreds of results, but you’ll need to do a background check on your prospect. Never jump right into a deal at face value.
- Check Instagram accounts tagged #420 #notforsale #weedin[name of country / town]. Instagram has recently become a good place for local growers to communicate with people interested in their crops.
- Use communicators like Wickr me or Signal for encrypted communication. This is to ensure that no 3rd-party app can read your messages.
- Familiarize yourself with slang substitutes for weed, but make sure they don’t come from the weed slang itself. There are other items and activities you can relate to when talking about your, hm, groceries.
- Check different online communities and forums for cannabis aficionados. This way, you’ll be able to make yourself a network of contacts should one of your weed guys be out of reach. LeafedIn is a great source for people seeking a weed supplier. It’s a cannabis social network with an all-important list of scammers
Okay, that’s enough prep work. Let’s get down to the real business
How to Find a Weed Dealer Near Me
Whether you’re on vacay out of town, abroad, or you’re just alone in the city and all your contacts are out of reach, below we cover every possible scenario to help you make sure you always score your weed regardless of your location.
1. Finding a Weed Dealer in Your City
This may sound obvious, but if you’re in your own city, call up those friends of yours who you usually smoke with. In the spirit of people who enjoy cannabis, they will be happy to lend their hands. You know how it works, there are people who know people who know how to help you out.
Sometimes, when your weed-smoking friends are no help, then you can turn to your generally sketchiest friends. Everybody has that person in their circle of friends who’s always up to something and they always know where to look for when others do not. Chances are they’ll know where to find cannabis.
Once you get into a business relationship with your dealer, don’t be afraid to ask them if they know someone from their “branch”. It’s not like they’re going to be extremely happy about your question, but weed dealers tend to disappear into the ether for no reason. They do, however, have alternative contacts to redirect their clients should they be unable to do the favor.
2. Finding a Weed Dealer in a New Place
The only guaranteed way to find a dealer near you when you’re in a new place is to be social and spark some new connections. You can go to a pot event and meet people who know where to look for when it comes to high-quality weed. Consider the 420 Event List as a good starting point. However, if you don’t have time for socializing or you’re more of an introvert, then it’s best if you visit typical stoner destinations: the parks, beaches, the town’s nightlife scene. And in some parts of the world, people even ask the taxi drivers for weed dealers.
Alternatively, you can think of the closest person you could know in a foreign town. Whatever option you choose, just be open about cannabis — but in a discreet fashion — and it will have positive results.
3. Finding a Weed Dealer Abroad
Similar to finding a weed dealer in a new town, dosing so abroad is all about making connections. But since your time abroad is usually limited to a few weeks, it can be difficult to make strong bonds with people there. Given this, your best bet will be to visit typical stoner places or look for destinations crowded with tourists. In many countries, especially where weed has been decriminalized, incognito street dealers are like an element of the local folklore — just like guys painting caricatures.
This is true especially for countries like Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.
Do’s and Don’ts of Looking for a Weed Dealer Near Me
Now that you know where to look for a weed dealer depending on your location, here’s a list of things to follow if you want to stay trouble-free during your endeavor.
- Identify and avoid scammers. The weed community receives a large number of scammers who offer weed at suspiciously low prices on top of other substances. These can be seen all over social media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter and Disqus. It’s important that you never buy marijuana online from someone you don’t know.
- Use websites like Reddit, Craigslist, and HuluandChill to find your weed dealer. These anonymous communities are perfect if you want to maintain privacy.
- Be nice to your dealer. Weed dealers are usually regular people who just happen to have an illicit source of income. Considering there are states where such guys run legal weed businesses, don’t treat them as if they were some kind of creepy lurkers from around the corner. Many people make good friends with dealers, so just act like you’re just hanging around as buddies.
- Buy in bulk. The best deal for you and your weed dealer is to meet as rarely as possible, so instead of buying 3 grams every few days, save some money for larger quantities and meet up once a month.
- Don’t blatantly advertise that you’re looking for weed. Instead, look for people. And when you get in touch with them, gently direct the conversation on the right track.
- Don’t take your weed for granted. Don’t be afraid to smell or touch the buds. You may also want to eye-check their weight. Some weed dealers aren’t the most honest people out there, so it’s better to err on the side of caution.
- Don’t use official web browsers. We’ve mentioned social media and other online sources to search for a weed dealer, but make sure that you do it from a dark web browser or, at least, use a decent VPN to protect your privacy.
- Don’t name things. Saying “hello, I’d like to buy some weed because my friend told me you’re dealing” isn’t the best way to spark a friendship with your dealer. Instead, use everyday language to help them understand what you mean without using weed terms.
- Don’t be fussy. If you want a wide product selection available at hand, you’ll need to move to a state with legal adult-use dispensaries. Don’t look down on your dealer when they have only one strain available at a time, or if the quality of their weed isn’t close to what you’ve tried in LA.
Looking for a Weed Dealer Online: Why It’s a Better Alternative to Finding One Locally
Finding a weed dealer locally can be difficult, especially in countries where weed isn’t a popular substance. There’s also a risk of stumbling upon an undercover cop who will bust you for even trying to purchase cannabis. In some places, punishments for weed can be as high as several years in prison — not to mention some Asian countries where weed can grant you a capital punishment.
The best and safest way to find a weed dealer is to look for one online. The Internet provides you with enough privacy protection to avoid triggering the attention of the authorities. There are special browsers, communicators, and even social apps that connect weed users with their delivery guys — you just need to know where to look for.
Speaking of which, THIS GUIDE contains everything you need to know about finding a weed dealer online. You can read it once your local search comes to no avail, or if you want to skip the old-school way and make your purchase happen faster.
Can't find a local dispensary, weed dealer, and stuck searching Google for "weed near me" to score some cannabis goods? It's 2020 – here's a better way.