What To Do When Your Weed Dealer Gets Arrested

A Guide for the Thoughtful High School Student

Your school is buzzing with the rumor: The handsome, aloof senior, with the square jaw and intense gaze, got arrested. They pulled him over for something harmless — a broken brake light, one person said, but it was probably just speeding — and the police smelled what everyone in your school already knew was in his car.

“They say he tried to fight the cops,” you heard in the commons.

He didn’t.

“There was cocaine under the spare tire!”

There wasn’t.

“They posted his mug shot on Facebook!”

They did. Because sometimes police departments, like high school students, do stupid things.

Police empathy. Classy.

Your local police department has a habit of posting mug shots on Facebook when they make an arrest, especially when the arrest involves drugs. You might believe they intend it as a public service, or perhaps reassurance the police are protecting you from crime, but the sarcastic hashtags and typo-ridden jokes make it clear the police view the people they arrest as objects to humiliate, not people who are, in fact, having a pretty lousy day made worse by having their arrest turned into fodder for jokes on social media.

But I digress. You are a high school student whose dealer has been arrested, and the lack of empathy displayed by your local police force is not your top concern. The arrest has you and your squad feeling uncomfortably introspective for a Tuesday afternoon, if you’re being honest, so let’s get to those questions that have you feeling low-key depressed.

Am I going to get in trouble?

Probably. I mean you’re a high school student with a dealer, so, yeah, eventually, yeah. But you won’t likely get in trouble for this. Your dealer might be able to arrange leniency in exchange for information, but prosecutors almost always go up the food chain, not down. (Unless, of course, your dealer kept immaculate, if unfortunate, records. But that seems like the kind of thing your police department would have joked about online, so you’re probably in the clear for now.)

Where will I get my weed now?

Ok you probably don’t have this question. Let’s be realistic — you know a handful of guys in school who will be happy to teach you and your squad about the invisible hand of supply and demand. Supply goes down, prices go up. Your economics teacher will be so proud. And your next dealer might be lucky enough to get arrested just shy of his 18th birthday so the police will have to keep their best jokes inside the department. Fingers crossed.

How long should I wait before buying more weed?

An important question. You don’t want to take unnecessary risks, and with a recent arrest you’re worried about increased attention. Smart. I can tell you’re a thinker.

So here’s the thing. Wait until you’re 21, and in a legal state. Like, really. Don’t buy weed until you can walk out of a shop with your head, and your weed, held high.

I know — marijuana laws in our country are counterproductive and based on flawed, decades-old legislation that was more about racism than it was about protecting citizens. And I know, it turns out marijuana is safer than alcohol by a long shot, much less addictive than nicotine, and remarkably effective at treating a host of medical conditions.

It is also, like it or not, illegal.

“Bailiff, free the prisoner,” you imagine your dealer’s judge ordering. “It says here that he disagrees philosophically with the state’s position on marijuana. Mr. Dealer, I hadn’t realized you had read such thoughtful pro-cannabis arguments on the internet. You are free to go.”

It is a stupid law, we agree, but it is the law. Deal with the world as it is, not with some romantic idea of how the world ought to be.

Wouldn’t the world be better if everyone smoked weed?

This is a popular justification among aficionados of weed, of course, but also ecstasy, yoga, LSD, cross-fit, polygamy, violent religious zealotry, and Doterra essential oils.

Would we be better off if world leaders hit a bong before considering permanent military solutions to temporary political problems? Probably. Hell, run for office on a platform of bringing the peace pipe back to international negotiations and a lot of people will vote for you.

But if you keep smoking pot in high school, you’re less likely to be sharp enough to run for office. Marijuana use is linked to permanent decreases in adult IQ — but only when study participants smoked during periods of crucial brain development. Good news for adults in legal states, bad news for you: High school is exactly when irreversible, weed-related neural rewiring is most likely to occur. (Even adults are measurably stupider for up to three months before returning to pre-pot levels of intelligence.)

What should I do next?

An obvious suggestion: Tell your friends this arrest has your parents asking questions and you need to lay low for a while. Then just don’t go back.

For the rest of your life, you’ll have a good story: You smoked pot in high school. Yeah, tons of fun. People really are funny when they’re high, aren’t they? You know because you tried it. Then the guy you got it from got arrested and you decided to give it a break for a while, just in case, and, I don’t know, you just never got around to it again.

So what did you do instead? That’s the part of the story you get to figure out on your own.

Pick one area of your life, any area at all, and decide to really do it. Full send.

Love to game? Hook up that Twitch account and see if you can earn enough money to quiet down your parents when they fret about your future. Overwatch League is a thing. Why not you?

Did you run track last year? Sign up again, and this time see what happens when you ask your coach for tips and leave every practice exhausted.

Miss the feeling of connection you used to have at your church? Pick up that bible and memorize the shit out of it.

No one else can tell you what full send means. It’s all you. But everyone who knows you can tell that smoking pot in high school is definitely not it.

So look at that mug shot on Facebook. Decide you’re done. Not forever, maybe. Circle a date on your calendar when you’re 21. Save up for a road trip to Colorado with your friends and get openly, profoundly, legally high. But for now, decide to be the kid who smoked pot a few times in high school until his dealer got arrested. It’s a pretty good story, and it’s your story to write, and it’s one way to keep your picture off the police department’s Facebook.