Longform

The Preppie Pot Papers

Page 3 of 8


In the name of the father
Razz emulates his father, an eccentric man who played guitar in an acid-rock band in the Seventies; had a room full of stuffed endangered animals, including a spotted owl, a grizzly bear, and a Florida panther; and handed Razz a surprise on his seventeenth birthday: a quarter-pound of grass for him and his friends to float out on. Razz says his father, who's been at Butner for five years, blames himself for what his son does, but won't come down on him. No one in his family will. Razz is the man of the house now; he says that fact dawned on him when he had to sell off his dad's animal collection to black-market buyers arranged by "friends" of the family. The huge house they were living in, two stories on an acre and a half in East Kendall, was leased out to a couple for "financial necessity" after Julio went down hard. (Ironically the couple who leased it used part of the space to grow weed, something the family found out when cops -- needling them about it -- told them about the eventual bust.) Fortunately family finances have stabilized. Razz's new home is a more modest but polished three-bedroom house. His mother runs a thriving travel agency now, as opposed to the failed attempts at legitimate work she and her husband had tried before. But Razz will drop a grand on her night table every now and again, no questions asked. She doesn't like to speak about any of this, in fact she wishes none of it was being written down, but she does share one thought: "What my son does with his life, I have no control over. Kids today can do what they want, they know what's right and wrong." The truth is, Razz's occupation doesn't bother her too much -- unless it invades her house.

Like the punk who took Razz off. He turned out to be an old classmate named Bobby, who'd dropped by earlier that day to "cap," but passed when he heard Razz was going out, seeing the perfect opportunity to score free weed. Bobby was caught the same night by the cops -- he was found parked at the intersection of Coral Way and 87th Avenue, asleep at the wheel from too many Rohypnol (sedative) tablets; he had the pot, a scale, and the tools he used to break into Razz's place on the passenger seat beside him. (After a night in jail, Bobby served a few months of community service.)

Special Investigations Sgt. Manuel Castro, an officer with the Miami Police Department for 23 years, says most arrests involving marijuana fall into cops' laps -- like the Bobby case. "You'd think they'd all be careful, but they're not. The dealers assume no one notices their behavior until a suspicious neighbor reports them. We depend on a lot of outside tips, and poor decisions by offenders, for pot arrests," Castro notes. Many of these kids don't think they're getting in over their heads, until they start robbing each other. Then the seriousness of their actions can blow up in their faces.

Last February, a twenty-year-old head altar boy, Ibrahim Khoury, was allegedly fatally shot by eighteen-year-old Andres Carvajalino in Coral Gables, according to Miami Herald reports. The victim was there to protect his cousin George Khoury, the purported dealer, from shady punks. Someone should have been keeping an eye on him. The cousins met with Carvajalino and two of his friends in a lot off US 1, then tried to take off when a gun was pulled on them. The shooter, a Killian High dropout, was attempting to steal an ounce of pot worth $300. He shot Khoury through the heart, according to the reports. Carvajalino is currently on trial, the death penalty looming.

Without getting arrested or shot, Razz learned a lesson from the take-off, but he still had to make up the money he'd lost -- his grower supplies bud "on the arm" (no money up front): "I freaked out. I called him to explain that I got jacked," Razz remembers. "He just had me work it off; for two weeks I was selling pot and turning over all the profit."

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Humberto Guida
Contact: Humberto Guida