Disclaimer: The content in this article was taken from private interviews with drug users and drug dealers on FAU campus. All parties have agreed to our student confidentiality agreement. This article is for educational and research purposes only and is not to exploit, destroy, or blackmail anyone who has agreed to do this interview. Names of the students will not be disclosed under any circumstances.
This article goes into the minds of FAU students who sell and/or use drugs on campus. Referred to as Students 1 and 2, these two are marijuanna smokers. Referred to as Students 3 and 4, these two are drug distributors.
Remember during our Freshman orientation when the school told us about the statistics on FAU students smoking, then told us the consequences of getting caught?
Yeah, I remember that day like it was yesterday and I still laugh! I mean, did they really think consequences would stop or lower the “90%” of smokers on campus?
There are drug dealers in every class level, delivering to every residential building, and every neighborhood where FAU students reside. These drugs range from Marijuana and Xanax to Cocaine and Adderall. It isn’t hard to find a plug, otherwise known as a dealer or distributor, on a college campus, the same way it isn’t hard for plugs to find clientele. Student 3, who distributes to students on campus said in a private one-on-one interview, “For selling, college has affected it because this is the place to be,” he laughed, “it’s the first taste of freedom that students get. It’s a place where people try new shit. Do you know how many times I’ve walked through the hallways or the breezeway and just hear students talking about weed?”
As an FAU student myself, I can express how many students began or increased their use of smoking once they got to college. From the many told stories and fun memories made over a joint, I can also testify on how there is a community of students who smoke and come together to smoke. “I’ve made so many friends over a blunt. I’ve met some of the best free-spirited people in and outside of college…smoking makes you such a chill person if you already have a cool vibe. Not everybody gets the same when they’re high but if you meet a stoner who is on some chill shit then you just made a cool ass friend or smoke buddy.” said Student 1 as they tucked a blunt between their lips.
You may relate if you’ve ever made a friend or acquaintance just by sharing an illegal drug. What brings drug users, especially marijuanna users, close are for several reasons. Some of these reasons include:
- These are illicit drugs, so you are partaking in a criminal act together.
- Smoking can be a hobby, so when you meet someone with the same hobby, you both connect.
- When surrounded by non-smokers and you finally meet that one who does smoke, you get excited and want to smoke with them.
- Loner smokers, or people who smoke alone majority of the time, find companionship in smoking with another person.
- Social smoking is fun.
If you wonder why students continue to use or sell drugs, the most common reason led us back to colleges. Getting into a university was the easy part, but staying there is the hard part.
Data comes from “The Impact of COVID-19 on College Student Well-being,” a survey conducted by the Healthy Minds Network and the American College Health Association
The impact of COVID did not help the matter either. One conclusion made from the data above is that the percentage of illicit substance abuse, binge drinking, and suicide ideation decreased during the pandemic was because students went home or moved off campus during quarantine. Living with family causes many students to stop using or reduce the amount of drugs and alcohol consumed. Most likely, parents are not aware or do not approve of their child using drugs. Sucicide rates also decreased a lot because students are no longer on a campus where they feel lonely, excluded, judged, anxious, overwhelmed, overly stressed, uncertain or all the other feelings we get as students, especially living on campus.
“I was sick of dealing with people in college. I had a fallout with a friend and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Potheads seemed to be living a good life [always vibing and not really stressed about much].” said Student 2 when asked why they smoke weed.
“Spring of 2018, when I was still a freshman, I fell into a deep depression. Music and Marijuanna was all I had to comfort me and take my mind off of things. I didn’t have anyone I could confide in so I turned to weed. I was losing my best friends; literally, the people i thought were gonna be my friends forever backstabbed the fuck out of me, one used me for all my money til i aint have no more, and someone I loved played the fuck out of me- all within the matter of a few months. Let me tell you I WENT THROUGH IT and I still go through it in college! The only thing that goes through hell with me is weed stuffed in a bowl or a leaf. During that semester, it didn’t take the problem away and I didn’t expect it to, but it did stop me from killing myself right in a GPT double,” Student 1 recalled.
It isn’t a surprise that college has this effect on people. As I refer to it, college is the devil’s playground and I can only speak about FAU because this has been my alma mater for my entire college career. I personally have experienced similar events as Student 1 and 2, and was very tempted to consume a drug- mostly weed and alcohol since it was easiest to access. Growing up, no one tells you the mental warfare you may experience when you go off to college. They don’t tell you all the mental illnesses you can come in contact with in college. Not only are you juggling multiple classes, jobs, people, and campus involvement, but you are also surrounded by people who have demons (we all have them). We live and laugh with people whose demons are depression, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, etc. I am grateful for the experience I’ve had at FAU because although it was horrific, I still can tell my children and younger loved ones that college is not what you see in the movies for the most part. There is way more immaturity, way more mental health concerns, a lot more rules than expected, and far more faculty and staff who do the opposite and make your life hell.
Turning the page, Student 4 discussed how he previously distributed on campus but does not anymore. “It was a hustle I started at the age of 14, when I was too young to get a job. My family said I smoke too much and it came to a point where I started feenin for it. They told me I shouldn’t waste my future selling drugs so I stopped. The reason I smoked so much was because I had a lot of trees on me to sell, so I would just smoke some of my profit. I also had 2 jobs last year so I didn’t need too much of the fast money for bills or anything. It was more so for weed, fast food, and some cash to give to my mom.”
Getting fast money isn’t always easy or safe. It can lead to addiction, federal charges, and even death. Luckily, the plugs we are interviewing have never been arrested for use or possession and are still breathing today. This life isn’t easy. Selling illicit drugs brings a heavy load of anxiety whether you’re a campus distributor or local distributor.
Student 3 couldn’t go further without sharing a horrifying story of how they were met with police cars with weed in their possession. “One day somebody on campus hit me up for a delivery. Like any other day, I grabbed what they needed and pulled up to their building. As I’m about to pull over and park, all of a sudden, I see red and blue lights flashing behind me. My heart started pounding and my life flashed before my eyes. My mind was racing with a million thoughts. What’s going to happen? Am I caught? Am i going to jail? My life is ruined. What is my momma going to think? She’s going to kill me! I looked through the mirror and saw three cop cars pull up right behind me when I parked. My heart was beating out my chest waiting to see what happens next. What seemed like forever, I waited for them to get out the car to see if they’d approach me. They finally came out of the car and began walking. I did a short prayer and when I looked back, they paid no attention to me. They walked into the building, disregarding me, and at that moment I was so fucking shook.”
After telling me this story, I asked Student 3 why they still sell drugs despite the trouble. “I have an entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve always wanted to sell something, but something that’ll get me money. My friends told me about the fast money and showed me what they were able to do. They had nice cars, their own apartments, and a pretty financially free life. So, I just wanted to dabble in it. I just wanted to test out the waters. I was hesitant at first but till this day I see the profit and I like what I see. Now, me and my partner both have cars, we both live off campus. What made it easier is that I was preparing myself for it. I was preparing for all the problems that came along. We live in south florida, you know, fast money type shit.”
Additional Interview Questions
Has any of your friends or family told you that you are abusing these drugs or shouldn’t be selling these drugs? How did you take it?
Student 1: When i told my mom, of course she said i shouldn’t be doing that. She had this image in her head that if you smoked weed you were a junkie throwing your life away. I made straight A’s this past summer. I had very few friends that suggested maybe I should slow down on smoking back when I didn’t know how to be productive while high because I was slacking in some areas. But i didn’t want to stop smoking so i trained myself to not let the side effects disrupt my college or work life.
Has using or selling these drugs been a hindrance to your educational, professional, social, or personal development? Has it caused mental illness?
Student 1: At first yes. It was a huge motivation killer. It made me feel super lazy, unmotivated, and discouraged. When I didn’t have control, it definitely took a huge toll on every one of those aspects. Once I got the hang of it and trained my body, I began to control the weed and how much it affected me.
Student 2: The only thing I’m finding out now is the lack of motivation. As you see I’m in no clubs, I haven’t been to the gym. It’s also like my brain finds excuses to make the reason why i’m not doing these things make sense. Like a loophole I guess.
Student 3: It has not caused any mental illness. I know that for sure. Brutally honest it made me more laid back. I still care about work, my family, and school. Weed hasn’t taken away the importance of all those aspects. It’s made me more chill and easy going.
Student 4: Weed sometimes takes away from your time. You can be a lot more productive without weed.
Will you ever stop using or selling drugs?
Student 1: It depends on who I want to be in the next few years. Like right now I see myself being a badass business [person] who goes home and roll a blunt to end my night. What i do as a hobby has nothing to do with my profession. If i want to be CEO of a fortune 500 company then ima do that. If I want to make the biggest deal of my life, then smoke a blunt afterwards, I’ll do that. Weed doesn’t tell me what my future will look like, I tell myself what my future will look like, then smoke a blunt after.
Student 3: Yeah, I’ll stop selling weed. I know I have the determination to stop if I want to. It’s illegal and I don’t want to get caught up in illegal things later in life. I might still smoke but I will not continue selling. It’s just money for now- you know- broke college students out here.
What do you want to say to other students who use or sell drugs?
Student 1: Who tryna match? *laughs* On a serious note, it’s literally a mental thing. It all is. Set your mind on success and you will be successful. Don’t be a lazy person and smoke. I’m telling you right now you will reap the effects. Be a productive pothead, not a low-life pothead.
Student 3: You can do whatever you want to do as long as you stay on top of your shit. Who can tell you that you smoke too much if you’re still on your shit? Don’t let the stigma of weed making people lazy be a part of you.
The moral of this is that drugs aren’t going anywhere in college. As more new students come in, so do new drug dealers. But here’s the thing, drugs do not cause mental illness, mental illness causes drug use. If weed is doing anything on college campuses, it is keeping the suicide rates lower than what it would be if no one smoked. As read in this article, students use drugs mainly because of college and the people in it. If it were up to me, I’d allow recreational marijuanna on campus in certain places and during certain hours. Imagine how much more of a community FAU would be if we all smoked freely- but that’s just my opinion! Thank you to the brave individuals who participated in this interview and allowed me to use their responses.