Mike dealt for almost an entire year. When asked about how it all started, he had the classic story of students roped into the illegal drug market: “First off I didn’t want to get into it, but my smoking habit had grown far out of reach of my budget…my dealer suggested I start to sell for him and that’s how it began.” Soon after, he was supplying drugs and at one point he had about 150 clients. Most were students with a few exceptions: “MDMA, LSD, and a shit tonne of weed in many different strains. Weed was always by far the most popular.”
When asked about the more “harmful” drugs, Mike had some clear limits that he wouldn’t cross at any cost. “I would never have sold coke, meth, heroin any of that shit. That’s the kind of shit that ruins lives, well at least in a far more uncontrollable manner than the others do. And I would never have sold to kids.”
Talking about the popularity of smart drugs in universities, Mike explained that drugs like Adderall were quite popular in Trinity, but he never dealt those. According to him, “It’s usually people with ADHD and stuff selling their personal supply. It’s very big in Trinity.” When asked about how he acquired these drugs in the first place, Mike was slightly vague, but said that he got them off the dark web. When questioned in regards to the quality of the these drugs, he had certain ethics: “Well I was the guinea pig for a start. Before I would give anybody anything I would try the batch myself. Plus, the reviews on the dark web are very, very accurate.”
“I was terrified of helicopters and reflective vests for a very long time.”
Mike feared being caught and explained that it’s better being scared because it makes you careful: “You get used to it really, and that’s when people tend to get caught. You’re paranoid for a reason, it’s not just because of what you put in your body, although that definitely makes it worse. I was terrified of helicopters and reflective vests for a very long time though.” He did not have any run-ins with the Gardaí during his time as a dealer, which he credits to his ability of being discreet and acting normal.
Mike never had any bad experiences with his customers, although he has dealt with some bad suppliers. “I nearly died once after taking a potentially lethal dose of MDMA during exams, 6 x 200mg pills. The only reason I didn’t die was because I smoked 10g of weed through the 12 hours. As well as the near-death experience, I’ve also had one of pure insanity, the only bad trip I’ve had on acid. I was locked inside my own head having panic attacks and seizures. Complete loss of ego.”
“It didn’t affect my attitude. I think subconsciously I wanted to die at the time but then again, on MDMA you just want more and more to keep the buzz going because you feel like you’re having the time of your life.”
“Caffeine is useful, but alcohol is evil, nicotine is evil, cannabis is great in some respects.”
Reflecting on the morality of the trade, answering the question of whether drugs inherently bad, Mike made a comparison to the harmful nature of some legal drugs that are equally bad: “Now…do I see drugs as a good thing is a tough question. Some drugs are good, some drugs are bad. For example, caffeine is useful, but alcohol is evil, nicotine is evil, cannabis is great in some respects. It all depends on how they’re used and the people using them. There needs to be more of a discussion about this in government, because drugs are everywhere, sugar being by far the most destructive.” His thoughts on decriminalisation were consistent with this statement: “Hell yes for legalisation of cannabis, mushrooms, DMT, any naturally occurring substance. It’s a great source of income for a country, and it means fewer people are in jail resulting in less waste of resources. As for decriminalisation, personally, I think possession of all drugs up to a certain quantity should be decriminalised. Look at Portugal for example, look at how many people are getting the help they need because they don’t have to be afraid.”
Mike explained that he did worry about the wellbeing of his customers to a certain extent, but also felt it was not something he could control: “I did worry, yes, but that’s part and parcel of the business. I’d checked the quality, I just supplied them. If they’re going to do something stupid, it’s on them. What they are doing is illegal anyway, therefore unregulated. That’s a huge part of why I want legalisation, to attest to the quality of a product.” However, he did feel guilty about facilitating others’ bad decisions or self destruction: “Yeah, I thought about that a lot. Just one of the many things that kept me awake at night eating myself alive. But in the end, if not me, someone else would do it. At least I knew I wasn’t a bad person. People will always find what they want somewhere, so why not profit from it?”
Speaking of profit, Mike said that in the beginning he used to “smoke off” all his earning but eventually he made around €400 per week. He eventually stopped dealing drugs when the term ended and he faced a personal low-point. “Basically, I got really depressed and started abusing drugs at an alarming rate. Suicidal thoughts, the whole nine yards. Stopped talking to family, friends, couldn’t leave the house. I guess you could use my story as a sort of warning. I’m clean and sober now though.”
“Drug dealer” is a very restrictive label, it brings to mind a pretty one-dimensional character that in the minds of a large proportion of the population carries very negative connotations. However, this isn’t the reality of drugs in Trinity. This subject, while of course being an extremely sensitive and emotive issue, is one that needs to be discussed in a more level headed, non-judgmental manner, for the sake of suppliers and buyers alike.