Weed Dealers Struggling To Cope With Increased Demand Due To Lockdown Boredom
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, a lot of people have found themselves spending more time at home.
VICE News caught up with a seller who spoke under the name of Anthony (his name has been changed for obvious reasons), who has been inundated with orders over the past few months.
Anthony does business over in Victoria, where the state's Premier Daniel Andrews recently announced a strict stage four lockdown.
New restrictions, which came into force on 2 August, include an 8pm-5am curfew, mandatory face masks and only one person per household being allowed leave to go shopping per day.
So what does this mean for the drug dealers down under? For Anthony, business has been booming.
"I've been overflowing with weed requests," he said. "Deliveries have been so busy to the point where I'm flat out on the days that I can work."
Not only has the number of orders shot up, but because of the tight restrictions, people are doing what they did with toilet paper and hand sanitiser - buying in bulk.
As Anthony explained: "If I have to put a number on it, I'd say people were buying 15 to 20 percent more.
"People who buy below a quarter ounce are buying two or three grams more than usual.
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"The demand has definitely gone up as people are just bored and looking for ways to kill the time."
His statements mirror a recent study by the University of New South Wales' National Drug and Research Centre (NDARC), exploring the impact of the pandemic on Australians who use illicit drugs.
The findings show that 41 percent of the participants named cannabis as their drug of choice, and its use has increased over the past several months.
Dr Amy Peacock, Lead for Drug Trends at NDARC, told VICE: "Specifically, 57 percent of those who had recently consumed cannabis had increased use since March."
This trend isn't unique to Australia either. A recent study conducted by Scottish charity Crew 2000 surveyed hundreds of recreational drug users.
Much like the NDARC research, more than 50 percent of the participants reported they had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs - including weed - more often and in larger quantities since the pandemic began.
Crew 2000's Training and Communications Officer, Kira Weir, told the BBC: "A lot of that was to do with boredom.
"For example, with cannabis, people say they're smoking more because they had more time on their hands, and actually they saw it as a way to de-stress; they saw it as some 'me time'.
"Other people mentioned that it was because of isolation, because they've lost their other support networks, and for some people they saw it as a coping mechanism."
If you're seeing yourself in these studies and you're in need of some healthier coping mechanisms, here are some top tips from a former Navy submariner.
Featured Image Credit: PA