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From “social supply” to “real dealing”: drift, friendship and trust in drug dealing careers

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)392-406
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/02/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article reports on an empirical study into a group of drug dealers supplying cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine, ketamine, and other drugs in and around a small English city. It reveals a market that is not overly structured or hierarchically controlled, and certainly not dominated by organized crime or characterized by violence. Dealers involved had often drifted into “real” dealing from backgrounds in “social supply.” However, despite an increase of their dealing activity (and of their profits), they still maintained the “social supply” values of friendship and trust as the key elements to relationships with suppliers and customers. Escalation of drug dealing did not seem to be accompanied by any wider escalation in criminality or involvement with organized crime.