Saint John — A cokehead residing in Saint John’s uptown area recently found out, courtesy of interprovincial drug operation J-Tornado, that the coke he’s been buying for the past couple of years in the Port City is only about 15 percent actual cocaine, and 85 percent additives.
Twenty-eight people were arrested Sept. 10, 2014 in a series of raids across the Maritimes; two of them are now on trial facing charges of drug possession, trafficking and organized crime.
“I was pretty interested in seeing how that trial would go down, so I snuck into the back of the courthouse to listen in,” said cokehead T.J. Matthews. “I couldn’t believe my ears when they said that coke from Quebec was hardly coke at all, but mostly caffeine and something called ‘benzocaine’…what a waste of money!”
The “cocaine” in question was described by the police as “garbage” during the trial. Although it was up to 60 percent pure when the New Brunswick dealers purchased it in Quebec, they cut it with everything from cheap household cleaning products to cooking ingredients, much of which had a numbing effect similar to that experienced by cocaine users.
“I thought I felt kinda high,” said Matthews, “but maybe it was just the caffeine in it making me numb and crazed — I feel pretty much the same way after a Tims double-double. And that’s a heck of a lot cheaper!”
Unfortunately for Matthews, he can’t track down any of the dealers who sold him the bad coke, since they have either been arrested or have swapped out their phones dozens of times. And he can’t complain to the police, at risk of being arrested himself.
“It’s a catch-22. Or I guess you’d say a coke-22,” he said, sniffing and rubbing his nose. “I… I mean… it’s not like I can call the free 24-hour coke hotline and get a refund.”
Matthews then went on to detail the trials and tribulations faced by drug users.
“First off, the customer service is terrible — that goes for every dealer I’ve ever met. You text your guy, he replies ‘yeah man I’m around,’ but it’s hours before he actually shows up and by then you don’t even want it anymore.
“A lot of the time when he shows up with the product, he wants to come in and hang out for hours. You gotta pretend to be interested in what he has to say when you’re really just counting down the seconds until you can do a line. It’s not a very customer-oriented industry, if you ask me.”
Matthews said he’s even experienced his dealer suddenly raising the price, without warning.
“One time I ordered a gram, and the guy shows up and says it’s gonna be $90, when usually it’s $80. Then I have to get him to drive me to an ATM way across town because I don’t have enough cash on me.
“Someone needs to be held accountable,” he added emphatically.
Matthews ended by saying that he’s torn when it comes to this particular trial.
“On the one hand, I want these dealers who sold me such garbage to be locked up. It’s practically criminal, what they’re doing! But on the other hand, the police are the natural enemy of druggies, and I don’t want them to win. There’s no positive outcome here.”
Matthews said he plans to sit in on the rest of the proceedings, or as much of it as he can tolerate without being high.