The Culturalist

Dear Culturalist: My Neighbor’s Slingin’ Dope

By Onya Ganja

Dear Culturalist,
My girlfriend and I live in a small apartment complex in Brooklyn, and I just found out my next door neighbor is a major dealer. He has about a dozen people coming through the building each day, and sometimes they actually get confused and knock on our door. I would be totally fine if the neighbor sold weed, but that's not the type of stuff he's selling. Should I be concerned? Do I tell the landlord or the police, or do I just keep my mouth shut? I'm in a rent-controlled apartment so I don't want to move.

So you “found out” your next door neighbor is a serious dealer, eh? That makes me raise my eyebrows a little. Sounds like hearsay to me. You should definitely keep your mouth shut. Maybe your neighbor is just really popular, or maybe they are trying to start a cult. They could even be giving away free hugs for all we know. 

If the person who lives next to your beloved rent-controlled apartment really is selling hard drugs and they have dozens of people coming in and out of the building every day, well, they kinda suck at dealing drugs. They sound heat-score enough to get themselves locked up. In the meantime, if your neighbor is struggling to carry groceries, lend him or her a helping hand. Then go home and lock your doors, inhale some soothing indica strains and mind your own business.

How do you know your landlord isn’t your drug dealing neighbor's cousin? What the hell would you even say to your landlord even if they aren’t related? Let’s say you tell your landlord or the police and then your neighbor is arrested and convicted. Then they are finally evicted. Probably like five years later. There is a pretty good chance your next, next door neighbor will sell drugs or toenail clippings or perhaps something even more horrifying: They could be diehard Trump supporters!

Wait a minute, your neighbor is selling more than weed? Is your neighbor just a legit drugstore? That’s your fault for not choosing a more residential area. If your neighbor isn’t a pharmacist and they are selling stuff other than weed, that could still mean a lot of different things. Acid slingers are different than cocaine dealers, and mushroom sellers are way different than all of the above. Peyote peddlers are a whole different story, too, as are moonshine makers and nutmeg pushers. 

If I knew what substances were on the menu, I could answer your question more specifically (and maybe ask for a phone number). For conversation’s sake, let’s say heroin. If your neighbor is selling heroin, you should put a sharps container and safe injection kits on your front step. Then just live your life, man. Also, quit being so judgmental. Herb is dope, but humans are just humans, no matter what they are consuming.

Somehow we living things are all really the same: terrible and lovely and complicated and never defined by one thing. You think you are different than the people walking through your rent-controlled hallways. That’s why you are scared of them. Get over it. Also, comfort yourself with the fact you are more likely to be murdered by your girlfriend than a stranger, especially if she’s from Jersey. Or as my dad always says, “You’ll most likely die in a car accident. So I wouldn’t worry about it.”

I’m not unsympathetic to your situation. I’ve lived in some interesting places. I get it. I have resided next to drug dealers and stacks of dirty mattresses. Some of my past neighbors have had spoons I wouldn’t borrow to eat my cereal. I’ve lived places where people who overdose get carried out, but not by paramedics. I’ve been watching television and turned to see some strange and very high person wandering into my place like it is the drug den the person was trying to find. Sometimes with a box of random trophies in their arms. The image of which haunts me to this day. Why so many trophies?

When I was a teenager, I lived in an apartment that had the door kicked down so many times it wouldn’t shut properly unless you stuck a pillow or a pair of pants in the frame. Once a neighbor showed me the biggest crack rock that perhaps has ever existed. Then he gave me really great dating advice. He told me never to waste my time with people who make me feel bad about who I really am. Solid advice. Then he went about his day. What a public nuisance!

Speaking of my neighbors, while writing this column, one of mine shot a gun for some unknown reason. I’m smoking Lemon Skunk so you know it is the middle of the day. I live in a peaceful countryside with rolling green pastures, outside a small village. So I’m not sure where you think you can move to get away from the bizarre reality known as humans. Such a place more than likely doesn’t exist. Well, it does, but the living is a bit tougher than where you currently are, and you will probably be eaten by a bear. 

Despite my string of drug-fueled neighbors, the only time I felt truly unsafe was when I moved into a “nice” neighborhood in a tiny city, and a group of drunk rich kids in expensive golf clothes threatened to beat me to death. 

Anyways, I can relate, especially since not wanting to move is what is holding me back from changing my living situation, too. The biker who lives next to me isn’t selling drugs, but he has a bunch of little kids, and they make a lot of noise before noon. I mean, the children literally shriek like gremlins, and I’m losing sleep over it. 

At the end of the day, you and I just need to decide where we want to be. That isn’t something someone else can decide for us, but maybe writing a pros and cons list could help out. I highly recommend a sativa-dominant strain for this task. Something classic like, say, Jack Herer. 

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