Courier investigates MC drug culture
November 15, 2013
Note: Names and identifying references have been changed to protect confidentiality.
A regular weed smoker and occasional Adderall user, Toker has never done any hard drugs. He tried pot for the first time at age 19 and thought it wasn’t “that spectacular.” However, after arriving at MC, Toker became a habitual user after living with a regular smoker. Toker now smokes 2 grams a week saying that it is “the best way to end [his] day.”
Brown started smoking pot his senior year of high school and furthered his use upon entering college. He knows he’s tried more drugs than any of his friends and that no one does as much drugs or the variety of drugs that he does. He even “helps other people try drugs.” Besides smoking every day and doing the occasional hard drug, Brown is a man who claims he can come into possession of any drug, just give him a week’s notice.
Doobie was into weed before he even experimented with hard drugs or alcohol. But weed changed Doobie’s life. “I was so closed minded to so many things before [smoking for the first time]. Smoking weed helped me think and opened up my mind to new perspectives.” He’s an active smoker now who knows his limitations.
Some people do it to go to sleep, some do it to gain insights into life and some do it just to have a good time. Throughout Monmouth College campus, students are toking up or imbibing for a variety of different reasons. Our three drug consultants all have differing opinions on why they do drugs. The multiplicity of drug’s effects is one reason why they consume, and their method of consumption is just as diverse as its effects. No matter how much or how little, or how “soft” or “hard” the drug is, one thing is for certain: drugs come with diversity and choice.
The first choice made was whether to partake in drugs or not. Some, like Dylan Doobie, chose to smoke weed before imbibing on alcohol. “It’s interesting, I was trying all these harder drugs before I even tried alcohol,” said Doobie. His reasoning for skipping the “more accepted” drug: “I tried [weed] with my brother.” Likewise, our other consultants agree who they hang out encourages drug consumption.
“I came to Monmouth and my quad-mate smoked a lot so I just started to smoke a lot,” said Johnny Toker, who first smoked at 19. Not surprisingly, the transition from home to the college campus increased the rate at which the three used drugs. Doobie, who enjoys smoking weed more than drinking, admits he tried alcohol for only the second time while on campus. Bobbie Brown, our third consultant, was the earliest to try marijuana and his interests in drugs only catalyzed when he came to campus. Brown said, “I began smoking a lot more weed as I entered college. Hard drug-wise, I began getting more curious about things as I became a sophomore.”
Our consultants also faced how much of the drug they wanted to intake. The pathway was trial-and-error. Toker admits he was continuously high for two months and said, “it was a time of learning because it was definitely too much. A normal functioning person can’t smoke that much.”
Doobie shares Toker’s sentiments. “My senior year of high school, I did a sh-t ton of ecstasy, and I felt f-cking stupid…I couldn’t hold a conversation.” Each of the consultant’s excessive imbibing for the two provided the boundaries for their drug use. Doobie, for instance, hasn’t done ecstasy for almost four years and the past two years he has only smoked weed. Neither, however, have quit drugs altogether.
All three believe marijuana is a prominent drug of choice on campus. Toker believes at least half the campus has tried weed in the past. “Hard drugs,” they agree, are a little less common. For their part, their weekly rates differ and so does the cost. Brown claims he spends $60 a week on marijuana and that’s just one-third of the money spent as he and two others routinely pool their money to buy in bulk. Toker’s a forty-dollar, or two grams, a week smoker and Doobie’s only “smoked a handful of days” in the past two years.
Doobie’s wallet may be a little fatter than the other two consultants, but they don’t mind. In Toker’s opinion, the money is well spent. “I don’t plan on stopping,” he said.
Buying and Selling
When it comes to buying and selling drugs on campus our consultant’s felt that it’s mix bag when picking up drugs on campus. All three felt marijuana was very easy to get a hold of but other, harder drugs were less available.
Doobie felt he could get any kind of drug at almost anytime. “Oh sh-t, I can get weed, cocaine and Adderall and, usually, once a month, some mushrooms. When it comes to weed, I could get a bag at anytime of day. My freshmen year, there were 15 people I knew selling weed and three guys selling cocaine.”
Doobie talked about the current campus condition. “Today a lot of people sell Adderall and that comes hand and hand with weed. If I were looking for harder drugs, it would probably get cocaine or ecstasy in about a week.
Doobie also discussed heroine saying, “I don’t know anything about heroine this year. My freshmen year, I knew a few people who shot up. Needless to say, they no longer go here.”
When talking strictly weed Toker felt the same, “Weed is easy to get on campus, harder drugs are much harder. If I were a freshmen this year I could easily find weed within a week. A lot of people know someone or know someone who knows someone.”
When looking for harder drugs Monmouth is not the place. For those who partake in hallucinogens and other drugs, they must go off campus to find the drugs they need. “Harder drugs I get from back home,” said Brown. “Its kind of like I call up my friend or he calls me. When we need it, it’s like ‘hey my friend from back home can get some acid, do you want it,’ kind of thing.”
On the other hand, Doobie gave some insight into the drug dealing on campus. “When I did deal, I didn’t spend a dime on weed. I was buying anywhere from $500 to $1,200 worth of weed a month. In the beginning, I would sell to get weed for free. When you sit down and figure out how much money you can make, it’s incredible.”
Monmouth Drug Culture
Having been introduced to drugs by intimate friends or relatives, our three consultants believe there is a distinct group of people who are interested in drugs and like hangs with like; that is, people who do drugs are more likely to hang out with other people who do the same drugs. Our consultants agree there is a “drug culture” and it consists mainly of those who smoke marijuana.
First, one consultant wanted to clarify what was meant by “drugs.” “There is weed and there are drugs,” said Brown. He then went on to discuss the similarities between weed and alcohol. With that distinction out of the way, Brown presented his thoughts on drug culture. “The drug scene, it’s very large; pot-wise, it gets much larger,” Brown said. And those who smoke pot usually hang together. “Since I’m a regular weed smoker, a lot of people that I hang out with smoke weed,” said Toker.
Brown’s statements also line up with Toker’s estimate that over 50 percent of the campus has tried marijuana in the past. Toker also believes roughly 90 percent of the campus will graduate from Monmouth College having tried some form of marijuana.
There are a number of places on campus where people can smoke. “[Smokers] all smoke in different places on campus,” said Toker. Another favorite way to smoke includes a “burnie” or “burn cruise,” a quick ride in the car to smoke a bowl, hitter or blunt. Likely this is done to escape the probability of getting caught.
At the same time, Doobie cautioned that the school’s rules can push students to be dumb. “We are forced to live on campus,” Doobie said. “[The school] needs to realize that by scaring people off-campus to do drugs they are putting us in legal danger.” The assumption, of course, is that drugs will be done regardless of security’s imposition or lack thereof. Moving off the campus to do drugs, however, especially to go on a “burnie,” increases the probability of being caught by the police.
Just as there are many different places to do drugs, there are a variety of drugs on campus to do. While most of the conversations revolved around mary jane, the consultants agreed the drug culture on campus consisted of everything from abusing Adderall to ingesting molly to eating mushrooms to dropping acid. Harder drugs such as heroine or methamphetamines are virtually non-existent on campus.
With the persistence of drugs on the campus, the consultants agreed there should be a change in those outside the drug culture. “Weed is associated with going against the system,” said Toker. To him, the system should embrace marijuana or at least adopt a no-harm, no-foul policy. “As long as [weed] doesn’t become a problem…why should they care?” The “they,” of course, is the “system.”
Brown’s take is slightly different. Regardless of what the system does, drug culture will never expire. He said, “You’ll never get rid of drugs.”