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When cannabis is delivered at home – CelsaLab

When cannabis is delivered at home – CelsaLab

The business of selling drugs evolves with the times: promotions for loyal customers, home delivery via the Internet, call centers to dispatch deliverers… These new practices facilitate transactions between consumers and dealers, and complicate the work of the police.
According to the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction, 44.8% of French people have already used cannabis in their lifetime. / Credits: pixabay

When Benjamin*, 23, moves to Paris, he starts going to a “oven” in Gallieni, terminus of line three, where the cannabis trade is done in the open. A daily consumer, he goes there regularly, until he is caught by the police: “they told me that if they saw me again in Gallieni I would have a criminal record and a fine, so I avoid going back there” he explains. In French law, the use of drugs, whatever it is, is indeed punishable by one year in prison and a fine of 3,750 euros. In fact, consumers are often sentenced to alternative penalties: awareness courses, therapeutic follow-up, community service… But since last year, consumers caught in the act risk a fixed fine of 200 euros.

To take as few risks as possible, Benjamin decides to turn to a method “more practical” and more discreet. When he wants to supply himself, he sends a banal message to the number of a dealer he knows, to ask him if he is available “to go for a drink”, with the address where he wishes to find him. Between “20 minutes and one or two hours later”, a car picks him up from his house, as if he were taking a taxi. Once in the car, “he asks me what I want, we make the exchange quietly, we chat a little and he simply drops me off in front of my houseBenjamin says.

A company almost like the others

The system is extremely run-in: “it’s a control tower the thing, the guy is in his apartment and he sends his employees to make the deliveries. They’re often girls because they’re less likely to get caught by the cops.” says Tomàs, 23, a regular consumer. Often, the person who is contacted by the customer is not the same as the one making the delivery.

This is confirmed by Ouss, a 23-year-old Parisian. After a BTS management he begins to deal. ” I make deliveries, but I’m never in direct contact with customers. I receive the address by phone and when I am there I notify my colleague who contacts the customer” explains Ouss. This colleague, he has never seen him. The only person in the network that he meets regularly is the one who supplies him with merchandise. He gives her a “recharge” which should last her all day. His tour can then begin.

Ouss works ten hours a day, every day, for a salary ranging from 4,000 to 5,000 euros per month. He prefers door-to-door sales because he takes the opportunity to discover Paris, he says. When he makes his deliveries, he takes public transport”it’s slower, but much more reliable” he exclaims.

Conversation with Ouss, a 23-year-old Parisian drug dealer. / Credits: screenshots

For customers, there is no longer any need to travel, “it’s like any product you can order on the Internet. Today even pedestrians can do their shopping on a drive and pick up their order directly in store” says Adrien*, 23, occasional consumer. Drug trafficking lives with the times. Real marketing techniques are put in place by the sellers: “when you pass the number to someone, after asking if you have the right, you get a free bag, because you bring them new customers”says Benjamin. Loyalty is also rewarded and there are regular promotions: one sachet offered for two sachets purchased, almost like any large retailer.

Disadvantage for customers, they are forced to buy larger quantities. “It is not necessarily more expensive than in an oven, but you are obliged to take a minimum (around 50 euros) so that it does not move for nothing.” says Adrian. Moreover, in the street, the customer is not immune to unpleasant surprises: random quality, suppliers who change often… “And you don’t really have time to look at what you’re given, so you’re more easily fooledBenjamin adds.

The “deepweb”, an ally of consumers?

But ordering by phone is not the only way to have it delivered to your home. Many consumers go through the darknet, also known as the deepweb, to buy drugs. Via the Tor browser, users have access to the “hiddenwiki”, the Wikipedia of the darknet. This lists a colossal quantity of sites that sell all types of drugs, but also counterfeit tickets, false papers, or weapons… Among all these links, Tim, 23, a computer school student and regular consumer, selects a French-speaking site that sells cannabis. To pay online on the darknet, you must first convert your euros into cryptocurrency. Prices are often quoted in bitcoins or ethereum. After all this process, Tim orders 150 euros of cannabis… But his package will never arrive.

A bad experience which does not discourage him since Tim assures that he will repeat the experience. He believes that the cannabis he can find in Paris is “not the best” and prefer “maybe pay a little more, but for something a little purer, that doesn’t cut anything”. The next time he places an order on Tor, he will choose a “biggest site” on which sellers have ratings and reviews. “A bit like a seller on Amazon: the more he is well rated, the more customers he will have and the more you can be sure that he is reliable” he explains.

Besides the quality of the products, he also thinks that the risk of getting arrested is minimal. “The best thing to do is take a PO box, so as not to link the order to your home, and “blender” the cryptocurrency so that it cannot be traced. In addition, the products are vacuum-packed, in normal packaging, so they have little chance of being caught by customs”. However, “customs make a lot of seizures, especially when the drugs transit through large airports such as Roissy” declares Bruno Cossin of the inter-union UNSA police. A perpetual game of cat and mouse takes place between police, dealers and consumers.

*to preserve their anonymity, names have been changed

Iris Trehin

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