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Established drug dealers see business go up in smoke

Editor’s note: This is a satirical article.

In 1983, Ron Slater’s father arrived at Dalhousie University’s Howe Hall residence with one pound of original haze marijuana and sold out within a month.  

In 2008, Ron’s older sister arrived at Howe Hall with one pound of lemon haze and sold out within a week. In September 2020, Ron, a current Dal student, arrived with a pound of super lemon haze to find Howe Hall closed for quarantining students. It took Ron until mid-October to unload his portion of the family stash. 

“It was a tough first few months,” Ron said. “When I went home for Thanksgiving my dad noticed there was still some weed in my bag and I could tell his heart just sank.” 

“I always thought legalization would bring an end to our little family tradition,” said Leif Slater, Ron’s father. “But it turns out COVID-19 has really screwed things up for Ronnie.” 

For the past few months, Ron has called Shirreff Hall home, which is usually filled with first years eager to score their first hit. But COVID-19 regulations have made it difficult for Ron to introduce students to weed and therefore create a customer base. 

Safe bong sharing during COVID-19  

“My father always told me that the best way to get people to buy drugs is to let them use drugs for free first. That’s a little difficult when no one wants to touch your bong,” Ron said.  

A bong is a water pipe that uses earth, fire, wind and water –– the four elements in Western culture –– to get a person high. They are popular among students in residence for the limited amount of odour and smoke they create.  

According to Ron’s father and sister, a bong in a Dalhousie residence building should be used by four to seven different mouths each weekday and 10 to 45 mouths each day of the weekend.  

“That’s accounting for the inflation of residence occupation numbers between 1983 and 2020 too,” said Leif. 

This year, Ron has had difficulty convincing people his bong is safe. His first instinct was to try using his bong while wearing a mask.  

“The smoke just went everywhere. I was pretty high already so I forgot the actual purpose of a mask for a second,” he said.  

Former drug den Howe Hall has seen a dramatic drop in activity since the residence shifted to a quarantine facility due to the pandemic. This decline in drug use has left dealers holding the bag. (Photo by Ashar Ahmed)

Next, Ron began advertising his enhanced cleaning protocols on social media. He often uses Snapchat stories to share his new inventory with buyers.  

“I find the key to any good social media ad is aggressively moving your camera towards the kush while shining an extremely bright light on it,” Ron said.  

However, he has adapted and discovered new techniques for his COVID-19 campaign.  

“Usually I go with a slow-motion close-up of the disinfectant wipe slowly swirling around the mouth of the bong,” Ron said. “Maybe I play some Philip Glass off my computer in the background so people know I’m serious about disinfecting after each use.”  

Customer base crashes 

Due to COVID-19, students in residence are allowed no more than two people in a room at a time, making many of Ron’s old business tactics obsolete.  

“I simply cannot recruit customers,” he said. He’s been trying to connect with other students any way he can. 

“It was a bit weird,” said David Wooderson, another student living in Sherriff. Ron privately messaged Wooderson during a Zoom lecture and told him he recognized his room as also being in Sherriff.  

“Then he asked me if I like to hit bowls,” Wooderson said. “I thought to myself, ‘thank God this course is only on Zoom’ and closed the chat.” 

So far, Ron has been told by three of his professors to stop inappropriately using the Zoom chat function.  


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