When I wore a younger man’s clothes I was depressed and anxious, and the only real escape I could find came from a bong. I bought a lot of weed. Never sold any. But that’s all in the past. I knew many weed dealers over the years and as some of them were my friends, they would tell me now and then about tricks they would pull.

Here are a few of my favorites.

* Thrashing.

The dealer will get two pieces of mesh from a hardware store, the kind you use for making window screens, and put the weed between it. Then they’ll take something like a back massager and vibrate the weed until most of the THC crystal and tricomes fall off, and save it for themselves. Then they’ll sell the thrashed weed.

* Light weighing

It’s trivial to rig a scale so it zeros out light. There are lots of ways to do it, like putting a dollop of solder on the underside of the plate or just taping on a small weight that can’t be seen. The only way to be sure you’re getting a fair bag is to bring your own scale.

* Trimming for weight

This is where you trim the bud so the parts you’re selling have the most sticks. Also pretty easy. You just trim the narrow part of the bud and leave the part that’s close to the stem intact.

* Adjusting quality per customer

Most casual weed buyers don’t know how to spot quality weed. Many of them have never seen or had quality weed and don’t know it exists. Weed dealers know this. They will sell your first bag at reasonable quality to get you to come back, but then over time they’ll gradually give you more sticks and stems in your bag until you complain about it (or don’t complain and just keep taking the garbage bags). This is particularly common in rural areas where there are not a lot of options for dealers and your one dealer may be your only hookup. They will save the quality bud tips for themselves or their more demanding customers.

* Selling you “the good shit”

Now and then your dealer will offer you an extra quality bag for a little extra money. Usually this bag isn’t any better than the other ditch weed bags he’s sold you, but he’ll make it sound like he just got in this amazing shipment of some super awesome weed, and he’ll give it some well known name like “Maui wowee” or “northern lights and really play it up to get that extra bit of cash off of you. You might even think it’s better weed because of placebo affect, but it’s just the same old ditch weed for more money.

* Artificial scarcity

Like any good drug dealer, a weed dealer will tell you once in a while they’re all out of weed. Not a single bud in the house. This is absolutely untrue. A weed dealer is rarely completely out of weed. They’re just not selling to you. Not today. They’re going to wait a couple of days until you’re fiending for a joint. Then miraculously a shipment comes through. Then they’ll play it up like they busted their ass to get this shipment in to serve you, their loyal customer.