Dealing marijuana in college

Payton Moore

Names have been changed in order to protect anonymity.

When Jacob first heard his boss sold marijuana on the side, his interest in selling the drug sparked. He was already spending roughly $120 a month on pot — a hefty cut out of a college student’s measly budget.

His boss asked him and his friend Matt one day if they’d like to take on his clientele, as he was stepping out of the game. They agreed and began to sell the illegal drug, now selling to roughly 20 regular customers.

His initial interest? Not having to spend on something they smoked so regularly. Every month, Jacob and Matt essentially break even on their sales. They can expect to purchase roughly $800 to $2,000 of marijuana every month and sell all of it back until they reach what they paid. Each delivery is a varied strain of marijuana in a varied weight.

The two of them pocket only around $120 a month, Jacob said. Selling the drug and only earning around $40 a week may not offer enough of a benefit for some, but for Jacob and Matt, the situation works.

Both work separate jobs at local restaurants and for local media outlets to round out their discretionary income. If marijuana became legal for recreational use in Ohio, Jacob said they’d be in trouble financially.

“I know some people that also sell weed and they’ve said, ‘I hope it never becomes legal in Ohio because that would put us out of business,’” Jacob said. “But at the same time, I’m 100 percent pro-legalization of recreational marijuana … well, maybe I could go for medical only, so that I could keep my recreational business.”

Selling less than 200 grams of marijuana in Ohio is a felony that can land dealers in jail for potentially one year and require payment over $2,500 in fines. Jacob and Matt said they make sure their business doesn’t grow too far or too wide in order to cover their tracks.

“There’s families in these neighborhoods, and sometimes I worry if the neighbors think anything of the eight different cars that roll in our driveway every day,” Jacob said. “But we’re cool, personable guys and people aren’t looking for trouble if you’re respectful and nice, which I think we are.”

Matt and Jacob hope to build a bond between the customer and dealer, no matter their reasoning for wanting marijuana.

“My biggest motivation (for selling marijuana) … is having people trust you and you trusting them,” Jacob said.

Jacob believes that if marijuana were to be legalized for recreational purposes in Ohio, most people would see the benefit is in the money the state could be making off of taxes on the schedule-1 drug. 

“I think the overwhelming majority of people think (legalizing marijuana) is a good idea,” Jacob said. “If people are educated about it and want to simply research it, a lot more people would be on board.”

Payton Moore is a features correspondent, contact her at [email protected].