By Behdad Mahichi and Keith Capstick
Students living in residence are having no trouble finding drugs, especially considering how their dealers are only a few floors away. A first-year student living in residence distributes around $1,000 worth of marijuana each week – earning more than an average part-time minimum wage job.
The dealer told The Eyeopener anonymously that half of this money is made exclusively from sales within Ryerson’s student residence.
He gets loaned about 128 grams (4.5 ounces) of marijuana every week to sell. By the end of the week, he owes his connection $750. “I usually come out with between $200 and $400 in my pocket,” he said.
He has been distributing similar amounts since he arrived at Ryerson in September and said that his original motivation for selling at school was to “help out [his] friends and smoke for free.”
“I already knew some people down here to sell to and I figured [residence] would be a good market, plus I’d be able to support my own habits,” the dealer said.
The dealer has been smoking and selling pot out of his room since the beginning of the school year, with few obstacles from security.
“They caught me with a bong once and just took it. There’s no real repercussion. Everyone I know who smokes weed in residence does it in their room,” the dealer said.
A number of students in residence have said security is inefficient at chasing down the drugs.
An anonymous resident said he smokes in his room every night.
“I smoke weed, shisha and cigarettes. I’ve also sold some drugs in my room,” he said.
Security and emergency services manager Tanya Fermin Poppleton said security does not directly deal with drug-related incidents on campus, as it’s the job of the residence advisors.
“Security would get involved only if there is a security concern,” she said.
Student Housing Services was not able to comment on the questions regarding procedures about residence advisors are required to take when encountering drugs.
The drug market in residence is not dominated by one dealer.
Another dealer in the same building said that he makes a substantial amount of money distributing marijuana in the building – about $500 worth of profit per month.
The dealer says that he takes a number of precautions to ensure his confidentiality, but has not had any issues avoiding problems with security.
“I keep my [pot] in jars because it smells like a skunk’s ass. I just try to keep my head up and my head down at the same time, if you know what I mean,” he said. “I just try not to draw too much attention.” Although pot is his most consistent source of revenue, the second dealer also sells MDMA.
“It’s smaller and easier to manage and you make more money so it’s honestly worth it. But the risk of starting to [use it] is what scares me,” he said.
A student who has bought MDMA in residence said he never has difficulty finding it and has never run into issues with security.
“I’ve bought MDMA a couple [of] times. We just go up to the guy’s door and get it – $10 a pop,” the purchaser said. “It’s only in the aftermath where people get caught, when it’s already too late. Security is not doing anything to solve the problem in terms of busting people. It’s only when people have made a mistake with the drug.”
The first dealer said that of all the inconveniences he faces, his clients are the most frustrating.
“Stoners are tardy, they’re just unpredictable. You never know when they’re going to call,” he said. “Dealing with stoners in general is just never easy, it’s hard getting two of us in the same place at the same time.”
The dealer said that he’s happy with the way his business has progressed throughout the year and is not looking to stop.
“If I was loaded I’d still be selling weed,” he said. “I’ve gotten used to it, it’s fun. I like being able to have my friends come over and help them out.”