Street-level drug dealers in Washington and Colorado are up in arms over the takeover of the marijuana market by large-scale corporations. Many dealers feel as though the sudden legalization swept the financial rug from under their feet.
Having to compete with the widespread legal sale of marijuana is not something most dealers were prepared to compete with, and a number of dealers have taken to social networking site Reddit to air their grievances. One dealer stated that someone “with a bunch of seed money might open a 7-11 weed store and shut me down”.
Dealers launched a campaign against “Big Marijuana” that features many slogans and brandings to ensure that people continue to support local growers and dealers. One member of the website offered the suggestions of “Call your product ‘organic weed’” and “launch a smear campaign against ‘Big Cannabis’”. After Amendment 64 was passed in Colorado, it became legal for adults to grow, consume, and possess certain amounts of marijuana. The law took effect immediately but it might be a full year before cannabis stores will begin springing up across the state.
Other dealers see this as an opportunity to provide specialized services and expertise during this “green rush.” “People still want to know where the smoke is coming from, delivery options, 24 hours of operation, anonymity and most importantly IOU’s which big businesses won’t cater to” the Reddit user stated. I’ve often wondered how the United States would change as marijuana slowly crept towards being a fully legalized substance. Only time will tell how this will affect dealer-user relations.