April #34 : Reefer Badness

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Faith, Hope and Monica

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April 1998

Reefer Badness

No court for club after dealer steals stash

New York City's Medical Marijuana Buyers' Club, a grass-roots giver of illegal, er, grass to PWAs, was ripped off at gunpoint by one of its own dealers. The pusher -- who stormed a November meeting with another armed man, pistol-whipped several members and made off with $5,700 in cash and stash -- had been fired a week earlier for late deliveries. "This guy threw me into a radiator when we dropped him as our supplier," club founder Johann Moore said.

Since the club operates outside state law, it has no legal recourse. "There is no protection for illegal activity," a police department spokesperson said. "We put the word out on the street," said Moore, describing the dealer as a self-styled anarchist squatter. "We hope to drive away all of his customers." After the hold-up, the price of pot was hiked to cover the debt. Moore buys about five pounds of reefer a week, at a cost of $500 to $3,000 depending on quality, and resells it to members for $4 to $20 a gram. Since the heist, security has been beefed up, members are required to show their club photo ID card upon entry, and new members must present a doctor's form. Nomadic in nature, the club shuffles meeting times and places to foil the fuzz and any unsavory elements. Spots known to the ex-supplier have been nixed.

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