Trapper of the Year

Watching the presidential race unfold keeps America guessing on where the country is headed. With jobs steadily declining, creative entrepreneurship is often needed to advance one’s finances. As a college student, it’s extremely difficult to balance school priorities and a job to support your daily needs. One Morgan State student suggests an easy alternative for those who can’t find work while attending school.

“Sell bud [marijuana]. Best decision I’ve ever made,” said a Morgan student who declined to be named. “There’s money to be made on this campus. Transportation isn’t needed that much, if any. What more could you ask for?”

In a recent study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, adolescent marijuana use has increased somewhat since 2007. While the jump is not huge, it has grown from 19 percent to 23 percent among 12th graders—a trend reflected among college students.  This explains why selling such a popular drug can be profitable on a college campus.

On Morgan’s campus, the student dealer closed his bedroom door and flashed his latest inventory in this booming, but risky business. He grudgingly allowed a reporter to sit in on an evening of blog posting and last minute laundry duties.

“The key is balance,” he said. “I keep my cliental kind lower than most. I can have time to do the things I need to. Other dealers want everybody to buy from them. That’s stupid, I want a select few [customers] that buy consistently.”

Such strategic planning explains why this business major anticipates graduating in the spring. As an underclassman, he knew he needed a job, but wanted to be smart about it. During high school in another city, he sold marijuana occasionally. Now, he relied on it to flourish comfortably in a city he moved to several years ago, but knew nothing about.

“I didn’t know anything about Baltimore, but ‘The Wire.’ I saw how prevalent drugs were in Baltimore without even thinking of the college community,” he jokingly said. “I definitely chose the right college to sell without many eyes on my every move.”

The stylistic supplier went on to say how it sometimes becomes difficult for him to accept his practices as a dealer but the convenience of the work warrants this exception. He estimates that he has at least 40 competitors on campus that are as bold as he is, taking advantage of the recent rise in marijuana use and the opportunity to make money selling it.

Regulations on medical marijuana use eased off these past years in several states, but it’s still fairly illegal for recreational use in all but two states. In last week’s election, Colorado and Washington voters approved recreational use of the drug. In recent research, “NORML’s Big Book,” a website-based advocacy organization for marijuana legalization, staffers collect the latest data on Marijuana, pointing out that Maryland still hasn’t decriminalized the substance. Still, marijuana use is widespread in the state.

“Marijuana is not a hard drug,” the student dealer said. “This is not crack I’m selling, it’s weed,” he calmly reminded. “This isn’t a drug many get addicted too. It all really depends on the person. I know I won’t ruin my life by smoking or selling it.”

As he settled to bag his “work” as he called it, he got a call from a regular buyer.

“Yeah I’m good, what you need?” he said. “I’m at the spot, come through.”

After a couple minutes, his phone vibrated again. He surfaced through his already-made stash looking for the fattest “dime” bag he could find. He answered the door, made some casual conversation, and grabbed her hand calmly leading her out the door as he surveyed the smoky dead street.

“I don’t let everybody come upstairs to my room, that’s against the rules,” he said while slamming the door. “Most of the times I go outside and meet them in their car but she [buyer] cool. Girls be the sneakiest ones, they talk you can’t trust them.”

Although penalties have been lowered this dealer understands the potential repercussions he’s faced with on the daily basis.

In the state of Maryland, possession of marijuana with intent to sale is a felony with less than fifty grams resulting in a fine of up to $15,000 and a maximum sentence of five years with each prior offense adding a mandatory two years. Personal use of marijuana with ten grams or less earns a person 90 days in prison and a fine of $500, and more than ten grams to fifty pounds earns a person one year and a $1000 fine.

“From jump street, I knew what I was getting into. There’s always a risk of you getting caught,” he warned me. “If you’re not nervous everyday then there’s a problem. I had a couple close calls but nothing serious. You should always expect the worst, it helps you stay on point.”

Morgan State has experienced several changes over the years, but students remain confident that drugs, specifically marijuana, will always be consistent on campus. Strolling down his call log with his day finally behind him this dealer is satisfied with the day’s sales.

“People love loud [weed]. It’s a stress reliever,” he noted. “Nowadays as a student you are dealing with a lot of bull. You need something to take your mind off it. As long as you recognize your priorities you should be fine.”

Asking him if he would ever stop selling while in school, he glared dumbfounded, as if he was asked who had he voted for in the presidential election this past fall. He stressed how he wanted to be secure financially before calling it quits.

“Fifty g’s! Fifty thousand dollars,” he said, stating his ultimate goal. “I only make six hundred a week. I need to be comfortable and why stop now when I’m not even close to that. I’m trapper of the year four times running; they would be mad if I quit.”

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