When you’re a law-abiding citizen, breaking bad is tough on the mind, body and soul. Malta’s ambiguous cannabis laws and overzealous police don’t help. Here are some of the many stages (we imagine) you’ll go through when trying to score some herb. Share this on your Whatsapp threads if you dare.
1. Putting it off
You pull together every shred of ‘leftover’ in an attempt to delay the inevitable. There must be enough scraps here to take me through the day, you think.
2. Bracing yourself for the call
Your more pragmatic side knows there aren’t enough scraps to see you through the next hour so you’re going to have to pick up the phone. The question is: do you call, text, FB message or Whatsapp? Which is the least intrusive? Which leaves the least evidence? If only dealers used Snapchat!
3. Remembering ‘the stash’
You suddenly remember the emergency stash you’ve hidden from yourself last month inside one of the many useless ornaments your nanna gave you (she’d be so proud).
4. Remembering ‘the stash’ is shit
Unfortunately you weren’t extra generous with yourself when you hid your stash in the bambin statue. You were actually pretty stingy. And now that’s gone too… so pick up the phone again.
5. You choose Whatsapp as your communication of choice
We all know an SMS leaves too much evidence. And you’re convinced your calls are being tapped, so that’s out too. You consider Facebook messenger for a second but then remember how the Maltese police love bullying Zuckerberg for info. So you choose Whatsapp, conveniently forgetting that it too is owned by Facebook.
6. Message sent
You feel secure in Whatsapp’s claim of ‘end-to-end encryption’, whatever the fuck that means. Message sent. Message still unread. Last seen three hours ago. No sign of life.
7. You brace yourself for jail
‘Omg, what was I thinking?’ The cops obviously got him and it’s only a matter of time before they see his phone and my message. You immediately look at the bright side: at least you could catch up on your reading in jail.
8. You tell yourself it’s legal
Didn’t Owen Bonnici decriminalise this shit? Why am I even afraid? I’m from Malta goddamnit. We’re awesome now. #WizKhalifa
9. Then you read that someone else has been arrested
Fuck! Another arrest. Three-year jail sentence for a 19-year-old. The paranoia from the emergency stash sets in. It’s not my dealer is it? No, mine wouldn’t get caught. It must be… His dealer?
10. You prepare to risk it all
You channel Daniel Holmes and prepare to be a symbol of the cruelty of the law, as long as you can get your hands on some stash to make the weekend pass a little bit easier.
11. You pick up the phone again…
Your Whatsapp message has been seen but not read, and certainly not replied to. This has to end now. You dial the number, filled with a sense of pride and rage. No answer, obvs.
12. The call-back
You’ve since started cooking a nice meal or going for a long walk to forget your woes. But suddenly you get a call back from your dealer. Maybe they haven’t been arrested after all. Or maybe… Fuck it, I’m answering.
13. The reallllllly awkward phone call
“Hey man, how are you? Long time no see.”
“Ummm, yes. I’d love those…. things we spoke about last time. Kemm għandek? Ħeħe.”
“I only have the expensive stuff today.”
“Ok whatever. Just tell me how much and where.”
“Meet you at L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa.”
“Oh, that’s fine, not far at all.” Motherfucker.
14. The eternal wait
I was sure he said 4.30pm but maybe he meant 7pm.
15. The meet-up
Here is it. It’s neatly crumpled up into the shittiest piece of stretch-and-seal I could get my hands on. Oh and it’s double the price, just because fuck it.
16. The end
17. The actual end
“Hey, can I just hang around a bit so it’s not too obvious? Maybe we can roll one up together and just sit here for a while?”