Seeing as how it's almost impossible to call the police, drug dealers are a great target for thieves and con-artists. Rip-offs
come in many different styles. The most common is on the front, when someone who owes you money decides to just disappear,
or come up with excuse after excuse for not being able to pay. The second, is the sly, behind your back little pinch, taking
a bud here and there, but not so much that you'd likely notice. The third is the opportunity theft, like if someone leaves
per money unattended and the thief just happens to be in the right place at the right time. The fourth is when someone scopes
out your hiding place then breaks into your house later on. And the fifth is your full on pre-planned armed robbery. I have
personally dealt with the first four, but still have yet to be robbed at gunpoint-except by the police, of course.
Obviously a major factor in all robbery situations, and a theme that I come back to again and again in this book is, be
careful who you trust. Stop and think about who these people are that you're letting into your house, where their loyalties
lie and how strong their morals are.
I've already covered fronting, but I should remind dealers to look at fronting weed or money the same way you look at gambling.
Never front more than you can afford to lose.
The nickel-and-dime rip-off can be avoided by simply keeping a close watch over all your drugs and your money. Don't keep
your stash where your customers can see it. It's okay to go into your room and close the door before returning with the sale
item. Most customers will understand that you need to be safe, and if you show them you're careful about everything, they'll
be less likely to target you. Only let your closest friends (if even them) see where you keep your supply.
Come up with a system for keeping track of your money and drugs, and stick to this system religiously. That way, if anything
is out of the ordinary, you'll notice it right away.
If you weigh your sacks out ahead of time, make sure to re-weigh them occasionally to make sure no one has pinched a little
bud. (However, don't flip out if there's a tiny difference as bud can sometimes dry out a little when it's being stored.)
Also count your money frequently, in case someone's slipping a couple bills out here and there.
To avoid an opportunity theft, you must remember to keep your quantities of money and drugs on close watch. Never leave
anything over a hundred dollars unattended, and avoid drinking or getting fucked up on other drugs when you've got money or
valuable sale items to take care of. The hardest part about this, though, is avoiding getting lazy about it. Once you go a
year or two without getting ripped off, you might start getting careless.
The breaking-and-entering style of rip-off can be avoided by using much the same techniques described in the last two sections.
When you start dealing with more than five or six hundred dollars at a time, you'll become a target for break-ins. But most
people will not break in unless they already know that they can get to your stash.
One simple option is to buy a safe; a heavy one. For those of you who plan to get really serious about your dealing, some
safes can even be bolted or cemented into your floor.
I once had a lock-box which I'd bought for twenty bucks, which I used to keep my money, and maybe the occasional bag of
mushrooms. I was usually pretty good about keeping it hidden, and most of my customers didn't try to bust in on me when I
was weighing up sacks, but there was one who did, and I was too polite to tell him to stop.
One day he dropped by randomly and hung around until I needed to leave, then snuck behind me and unlocked my door as we
were leaving. I came home to find my lock-box had been jimmied open and some, though not all, of my money had been stolen.
He'd stolen just barely enough to cover his rent, $540. He still pretended to be my friend. I had fantasies about taking revenge,
maybe cutting off the head of his pet snake, but he was just a pathetic crank addict with a baby to take care of, so I simply
warned all my friends about him and stopped speaking to him.
Which brings me to a random note about crank heads: when they steal something from you, they'll often come back around
the next day and help you look for it.
When you do discover that you've been ripped off, don't flip out about it. Remember that department stores must factor
in losses for shoplifting, so too, you will need to factor in thieves. I won't tell you whether or not to confront the person
about it. Often times talking about it (or yelling and screaming about it) can help a great deal. And sometimes you can make
the person feel guilty enough to pay you back. I've always been too shy to get mad about it, but simply stop speaking to the
person for ever-after. I then warn all my friends about the thief and ask them to refuse all services for that person. And
on that same token, when you discover that one of your customers has stolen from someone else, it's your duty to sever all
ties, and make it clear that that kind of behavior is not acceptable. Besides, if they did it to someone else, they could
do it to you too.
However, this is not the time to be mean about it. Be straight forward and direct when cutting someone off for dishonesty,
but don't act like you hate per or something. Remember, it's only business.
And remember, when you've been ripped off, and you're having revenge fantasies, just remember what I always say, "Anger
is a gift: it can be used to punish the past or fix the future. The choice is yours."
The fourth type of robbery, one which I have absolutely no experience with, comes when someone sets up a large scale buy
or sale then shows up with guns instead of the trade item. This type of thing shouldn't be an issue until you start dealing
with more than a few thousand dollars at a time.
Again, all I can say about this is, be careful who you trust. Stay away from people who like guns, and be careful of people
when you don't know where they live and don't have any emotional ties with them or their family.
Another rip-off style that I feel I should mention is the simple trickery method: selling fake weed. However, most con-artists
are not foolish enough to try to fool an experienced dealer, but are much more likely to go after a fourteen year old who's
just breaking into things, or a small-time consumer. I've never even heard of any of my friends being victim of this, but
I'm sure it happens.
And one last style, which can't be completely called a "rip-off." Sometimes someone will buy a sack, then conveniently
forget to pay you. You may ask for the money, and the person fishes in per wallet, then gets distracted and starts talking
about something else, in hopes you will forget all about the money. Obviously this can be avoided by simply paying attention.