“Nobody is buying the party drugs”: Drug dealers on the market during the pandemic

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With the far-reaching implications caused by social restrictions across the world as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, society as a whole is undergoing rapid and constant shifts in how we engage with each other and our broader community. We’re staying home, we’re not seeing our friends, and nightlife and events have all been put on hold for an indefinite amount of time.

Unsurprisingly then, drug dealers across the world have reported a significant change in their markets. Two reports this week, one from The Economist and one from Vice, took a look at different markets and experiences from drug dealers currently trying to get through the pandemic like the rest of us.

According to Vice, Australian cocaine has gotten worse in quality due to how much more difficult it is to get the product into the country, while in London, The Economist reported that “coke is out, weed is in.” It seems Londoners are stock-piling weed, according to the story, and even with dealers implementing minimum orders of two or three grams, they haven’t been able to shift their stock in the shrinking market.

It goes further than that, as The Economist explained. “If revenue dwindles, gangs are likely to battle it out for the remaining custom, according to a report published on March 22nd by Policy Exchange, a think-tank,” the report says. Elsewhere, some dealers have temporarily closed up shop altogether due to concerns of going outside and touching cash from others. “I don’t want to be taking any cash that has had all those dirty hands on it,” one dealer explained in the piece.

As for Australia, the story in Vice was similar with one dealer also reporting a decline in customers and in sales of party drugs. “The customers in Melbourne have gone down though. Selling way more Xanax and weed. People have been getting into the downers,” they said.

Read the full story on The Economist and on Vice.

Words by Emma Jones
Image: Shutterstock via The New York Post

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