Coke is the real thing

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Robin Williams, no stranger to nose candy, once said, “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you’re making too much money.” Well, “there’s a lot of money in this town,” an inmate at our local jail told me. Now in his early 30s, he’s been selling coke in Charlottesville since he was 14. It turns out that Charlottesville is a huge coke town. Who knew? Maybe you did. It was something we heard over and over as we researched this story, that a lot of people in this genteel, bookish city are hooked on sweet cousin cocaine.

You can’t talk about illegal drugs without talking about money. Cocaine and heroin use is always measured in dollars, as in “I had a $100 a week habit.” The police invariably refer to a successful bust by the “street value” of the drugs. On the street drugs can literally function as currency. In Charlottesville, $20 to $50 worth of crack can get you a stolen laptop or DVD player, and a bag of stolen clothes can be yours for an eightball of cocaine. As my incarcerated dealer source said, “My apartment looks nice, man.”

There is a lot of money in this town, and there are a lot of drugs. Following that money and those drugs will take you from student apartments to methadone clinics, from the local jail to Downtown restaurants. We have attempted to show you what these drugs cost, what you will have to pay to obtain them. Another inmate, facing 30 years in prison for following his crack jones on a three-day binge, showed me pictures of his twin sons and told me that the price he’d paid was everything he had.

The following prices were obtained from a survey of Charlottesville-area dealers and buyers:

Marijuana
(Cannabis, a psychedelic. Prices for pot vary due to wide availability and broad range of quality.)

$5 for one blunt (a cigar where the tobacco has been replaced with marijuana)

$10 for one high quality blunt

$20 for four good quality blunts

$35-$40 (mid-quality), $50-$60 (high quality) for an eighth of an ounce

$25-$35 (mid-quality), $45-$60 (high quality) for a quarter ounce

$40-$65 (mid-quality), $100-$120 (high quality) for a half ounce

$80-$150 (low quality), $100-$200
(mid-quality), $300-$400 (high quality) for an ounce

$800-$1,200 (mid-quality) for a pound

Ecstasy
(Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA, an euphoric stimulant. Usually sold as pills, also found in powder form. Usually swallowed..

$20-$30 for one pill

Shrooms
(Psilocybin Mushrooms, a psychedelic. Usually eaten, or brewed as tea.)

$40-$70 for a quarter ounce

LSD
(d-lysergic acid diethylamide, a psychedelic. Usually eaten in the form of liquid soaked into blotter paper or a “tab.”)

$5 for one tab

Cocaine
(Benzoylmethylecgonine, a euphoric stimulant derived from the coca plant, usually snorted, but can also be smoked or injected. Until recently most coke came to Charlottesville from New York via I-95. Now, however, Latino gangs, most notably MS-13, may be taking over. From Charlottesville, cocaine is often distributed to smaller towns like Staunton, Waynesboro, Roanoke, or High Point, North Carolina.)

$50-$100 for a gram

$150-$250 for an eightball (3.5 grams)

$600-$1,200 for an ounce

$22,000 for a kilo (1,000 grams)

Crack
(A low-quality form of freebase, or smokeable cocaine, sold on the street in rock-shaped chunks.)

$20 for a “20 bag” or “dub” (a nickel sized rock)

Heroin
(Brand name for diacetylmorphine, an euphoric painkiller derived from the opium poppy and originally trademarked by Bayer. Heroin can be injected, snorted or smoked. Heroin in Charlottesville is in the form of an off-white powder and is brought to town from Richmond. In other parts of the country, most notably the Southwest and West Coast, heroin comes from Mexico in the form of a sticky, brown/black paste, called Black Tar heroin.)

$10-$20 for a bag of powder (roughly .1 gram)

$100-$120 for a ”bundle” (usually 10 bags, roughly 1 gram)

Opioids
(Synthetic painkillers derived from or similar to chemicals found in the opium poppy.)

Vicodin
(Most common brand name for 5, 7.5, or 10mg of Hydrocodone in combination with 500, 750, or 660mg of Acetaminophen.)

$5 for one pill

Percocet
(Most common brand name for 2.5, 5, 7.5, or 10mg of Oxycodone in combination with 325, 500, or 650mg of Acetaminophen.)

$2.50-$8 for one pill

Morphine
(Potent opiate painkiller and the main active ingredient in Opium. Morphine pills come in many different dosages. The word Morphine is derived from Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.)

$10 for a 30mg extended release pill

Oxycontin
(Oxycodone in continuous release form. Most common street versions are 40mg and 80mg pills.)
50 cents-$1 per mg or $20-$40 for a 40mg pill, $40-$80 for a 80mg pill

Methadone
(Synthetic opioid commonly used to treat addiction to other opiates, owing to its general lack of a high.)

$1 per mg

Duragesic
(Brand name for the drug Fentanyl in the form of a transdermal patch. Fentanyl is an extremely strong synthetic painkiller. Fentanyl is measured in micrograms, where 1,000 micrograms-1 milligram. Duragesic patches come in 25, 50, 75, and 100 microgram strengths. These are cut open and the gel is eaten or smoked to obtain a high).

$35-$100 per patch, depending on strength

Dilaudid
(Brand name for Hydromorphone, a potent and highly prized synthetic opiate. Available in 2, 4, and 8mg pills.)
$20 for a 2mg pill

$30-$40 a for 8mg pill

Other pharmaceuticals

Xanax
(Brand name for Alprazolam, a sedative prescribed for anti-anxiety. Available in .25, .5, 1, 2mg pills.)

$1 for a .25 “football” (so named for its shape)

$2.50-$3 for a .5mg “football”

$5-$10 for a 2mg pill or “bar” (so named for its long, rectagonal shape. Bars are easily broken and shared)

Adderall
(Brand name for an amphetamine cocktail. Commonly prescribed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Available in 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, 20 and 30mg pills, and 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30mg capsules. Usually crushed and snorted, although it’s much harder with the capsules.)

$5 for a 10mg pill

$15 for a 30mg pill

$10 for a 30mg capsule

Methamphetamine
(d-N-methylamphetamine, an euphoric stimulant. “Crystal Meth” can be smoked, snorted, or injected.)

$75-$80 for a gram

$230 for an eightball (3.5 grams)

$350 for 6g. (this price applies to Nelson County and was obtained from a Nelson County law enforcement official)

Moonshine
(Home distilled alcohol)

$50 for a gallon (price obtained from a Nelson resident)

$80 for a quart, $150 for a gallon (price obtained from a Nelson law enforcement official)

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