Steven Dewe (name changed for the purpose of the story) is a Troy alumnus who lives in the area. A self-described regular marijuana smoker, Dewe also has experience working as a pot dealer for around a year.
His reason for choosing the risky side of business was the availability of more disposable income.
“There was also definitely a cool social factor that appealed to the 18- to 21-year-old mind,” he said.
Dewe said that he earned anywhere from $100 to $300 a week selling marijuana to seven or eight customers.
He said that finding clients was easy but “not being paranoid was the hard part.”
“That’s what drove me out because you are risking so much when it’s so unnecessary,” he said.
According to Capt. Danny Barron of the Troy Police Department, dealers getting robbed is a common experience the police see.
“Their money, their drugs, are taken quite often and a lot of times they won’t report it because it’s drugs,” he said.
Dewe adds that people can earn from a few hundred to thousands of dollars each week depending on how much they sell and how regularly.
“I actually know a guy who pays his tuition for Troy 100 percent on (selling) drugs,” he said.
According to Dewe, marijuana in Troy can be sold at $20 per gram for novice smokers to $10 to $15 per gram for regular customers.
“I have had no problem buying weed for like the entire time I have been in Troy, and I have been in Troy for half a decade,” he said.
He added that he was able to meet other students interested in smoking right away at his Impact orientation session.
“It was a matter of asking, seeking,” he said. “I was looking for it.”
Dewe said that during his time as a student, he went through around 12 different dealers, sticking with the ones who maintained a low-key profile.
He himself learned to be discreet while dealing, he said, after giving out his phone number to anyone in the very beginning when he started selling.
Marijuana is not the only drug Dewe has had experience with. He said that he has experimented with other substances such as molly (ecstasy), spice (synthetic marijuana), acid (LSD), Robitussin and muscle relaxers.
“One time I took molly and went to art class…wow,” he said. “It was intense. It felt really good and I learned a lot because you just get these really profound thoughts.”
However, Dewe said that he has had a few bad experiences with some substances when mixing them with alcohol or not knowing what he was intaking.
At 24 years old, Dewe says that he is more comfortable with drugs, and feels safer about using it due to the research and studies available on it, than he did as 14-year-old boy when he first tried marijuana.
“If you take the right amount in the right environment around the right people and you just do your scientific research about what you plan to take, you should feel no shame doing it,” he said.