The People In Your Neighborhood: Your Friendly Local Dealer

Your Friendly Local Dealer

Rene Chavez
6 min read
Leaf guy
(Tasha Lujan)
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How long have you been dealing weed?

I first moved here in 1968 and went to McKinley [middle school]. And that’s about the time I started thinking I was into it … But I really wasn’t because what people were selling me was oregano. It’s a common thing, because when you’re a kid you’re ignorant. You pay for it. Anyways, by the time I got to 10th grade at Del Norte, I bought my first ounce to sell. I sold it and at the end of the day I got my ass kicked because it was oregano. These kids were a lot smarter than I was in 10th grade. I didn’t know anything. So that was my first lesson.

Then, my sister, she used to work at Taco Bell. This cop used to come in every day and try to pick up on her and he would always bring her marijuana that he’d confiscated from people during the day. He’d say, “I’m gonna let you go this time,” and take their cool stuff and give it to my sister. Well when my sister got home, she would turn me onto it. And that’s how I learned about really, really good marijuana—the good shit. So after that, some of her boyfriends had the real stuff, so I got stoned the first real time in my life when I was in 10th grade. And I started selling it. I did it for about 15 years and just gave it up for 20 years.

And in that interim period?

I was just working. I mean, every place drug-tests you for marijuana. And again, it’s so insane to me. I’m just saying to be turned down from a career and a livelihood because you smoked a little pot? Well, that’s 80% of all Americans in the United States. They have done it or will do it at some point.

Do you sell any other drugs?

God no. Strictly weed because I believe in it. There’s no chemicals … They never knew it was so good for you. It’s good for glaucoma, for sleeping, anxiety, insomnia. There’s a million—well, 46—reasons.

How do you buy it?

I go right straight to the farm. There’s a huge sign that says “Legal License” that lets you know that it’s legal and he’s (the farmer) growing for the state of California. He’s subsidized as a farmer, but instead of corn or wheat, this is what he does.

What is the most challenging part of what you do?

The risk of going to get it and bringing it back because [I’m] crossing four state lines … You can’t just go for a couple—and I’m not saying a truckload—I’m saying six to eight pounds at a time … Very, very scary. You just get your system down but even then all you wanna do is get home [and] unload it.

What’s the scariest deal you’ve ever done?

Actually, every one of them is scary. The scariest deal I ever did was fronting my money. Which in this business, you never, ever, ever do. So I fronted my money to somebody and when somebody’s got eight grand in their pocket, you’re never gonna see them again. They were gone and so was my eight grand. Live and learn. It’s not all fun and games, believe me.

Do you enjoy what you do?

I love it! Best job in the world. The [buyers] are more ecstatic than I am and, again of course, sometimes you don’t make much but anything you make, you get your money back, you did somebody a good deed and you did make something. It’s enough for me to live on, drink my beer and be happy.

Do you think marijuana should be legal?

I think it’s gonna be legalized no matter what, but I think it should be legalized. You should still have to have a grower’s license. I think it should be government-controlled. There should be some quality and substance to it.

What do you think of the way that dealers are usually portrayed in the media?

I think, if people only had a clue … Yeah, they’re usually pictured as pretty rough lookin’ gangsters [with] tattoos … probably ridin’ in the Banditos. But nope, there are business men who dress in a lot fancier suits than me that are doin’ it.

Does your family know what you do?

My mom knows I smoke it. [She] thinks it’s good for us, but she won’t smoke it. And that’s all fine and well. I got my mom high once when I was a kid. I used to put a pot seed between each of the roses that would grow in the backyard. They would come up and one day she comes into my room and says, “You little son of a bitch. I know what you got growin’ between my roses!” And I said, “Well, just leave ‘em alone.” And she did!

Do you see dealing as “just work?”

It’s a proven fact now. It doesn’t hurt you. It’s not like cigarettes. Do you see any commercials anymore banning pot? No, you never see anything that’s anti-pot. Anti-drugs maybe—meth, cocaine, heroin. But you never see an addiction center saying no to jointing up. The reason is it isn’t addicting. There’s nothing physical at all except for feeling better.

What’s your advice for the world?

My advice for the world is everybody should have their freedom when it comes to this sort of thing. I’ve done cocaine; I’ve been around and I’ve learned it’s all bad stuff. I learned and I lived … But what I’m doin’ now is pure medicine and it’s only gonna help me. Nobody should put anybody down for smoking pot.
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