Marijuana doesn't help disaster victims. Money and supplies do. It's a simple connection made by a pot dealer in Brooklyn, N.Y., who donated half of his proceeds made over two days last week to victims of Hurricane Sandy. He spoke to HuffPost Crime on the condition of anonymity.
The dealer said he didn't care about the implications of turning drug money into supplies for victims in the Rockaways, N.Y., some of whom are still without power. He just wanted to help out, and raised $700 for the cause.
"Look, there are probably some people down there [in the Rockaways] who want some marijuana -- but that's not going to clothe and feed them," he said. "So in order for me to help, I needed to turn what I do into something concrete that I could give to them."
The college-educated weed dealer said he saw the devastation in Breezy Point -- where some 80 homes flooded and burned to the ground -- and decided it was time to make some green for the victims. He alerted his clientele last Monday that he would be donating, and the calls started coming in.
He's no Pablo Escobar, but the dealer claims he did make $1,400 in those two days, amounting to $700 that will go toward hot meals, diapers, formula, clean water and other supplies that people on the Rockaway Peninsula still desperately need. HuffPost crime confirmed that he bought 50 wool blankets that will likely go to residents who are still without power.
"Yes, I made a little extra money for myself those two days," he told HuffPost Crime. "But [my clients] are getting something they'd already get anyway. I was going to work regardless, and now I felt like I was doing it with purpose ... I'm not doing what I do in order to get rich or create some super marijuana empire. I'm trying to help, and this is my job." When he's not operating Nuggets for the Needy, the Brooklyn dealer says he's been throwing on boots and helping to transport relief goods -- and not the THC kind -- around south Brooklyn and Queens.
Organizations such as Lava Girl Surf and Rockaway Beach Club have erected impromptu relief centers and are literally peddling much-needed items to affected areas. More than 1,000 volunteers helped clean out homes and deliver supplies over the weekend for those two organizations alone, according to Lava Girl Surf's Facebook page.
Meanwhile, residents of the Rockaway Peninsula are still suffering, some still without electricity and many looking for answers after Sandy and a subsequent Nor'easter destroyed their homes.