Coronavirus Is Turning People Into Weed Hoarders
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause uncertainty around the globe, the effects of ill-judged panic-buying and stockpiling have been seen worldwide.
Empty shelves in supermarkets have become a common sight, and while it’s understandable that shoppers have felt the need to prepare for the worst-case scenario as a result of constant fearmongering, this has left many without even the basic necessities.
While toilet roll and pasta seem to be taking the biggest hit, those aren’t the only essentials people are stocking up on, with demand for other products – well, substances – having never been higher.
That’s right folks, I’m talking about weed. As millions of people have been preparing to self-isolate by visiting their local supermarkets, others in the UK have been looking elsewhere to get what they need.
‘There is no guaranteed supply,’ one 30-year-old man who has been stocking up on cannabis over the past few weeks told UNILAD. As such, he’s bought a little more than an ounce to keep him going for a ‘fair while’.
Usually, he would only have an eighth of an ounce in at any one time. But with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and not knowing when he’ll next be able to get his usual supply – particularly in light of Boris Johnson’s recent lockdown announcement – he thought he’d better be prepared.
Describing himself as a ‘fairly regular user’, he said an ounce will last him because he doesn’t smoke on the days that he’s working and has recently started giving himself ‘breaks’ before working days.
When asked why he had decided to stock up on weed, he said it was because of the ‘backwards’ attitude towards cannabis in the UK – in reference to the fact it’s a class B drug and as such carries an unlimited fine or up to five years in prison if you are caught having it in your possession.
Because of this, there is no guaranteed supply and events such as coronavirus can interrupt supply or, at the very least, make it more difficult for customers and dealers to meet.
I’m also concerned about not having to meet people unnecessarily, so decided a few weeks back to stock up so as not to have to meet my dealer.
The 30-year-old hasn’t stockpiled other items because he is ‘pretty confident in food supply chains, especially now there’s extra haulage capacity what with many shops being closed down’ in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The same can’t be said for weed though, hence his stocking up on it. ‘This is not forever, and it’s important to remember that. So, in the meantime, hazy evenings watching Rick and Morty it is,’ he said.
He isn’t the only one making sure he has enough to see him through the UK lockdown either; one couple – let’s call them Mr and Mrs Green – have also been stockpiling so they have enough to last them ‘comfortably’ over the coming weeks.
The couple, who are 28 and 29, were expecting the lockdown prior to Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday, March 23, and so made the decision to get more weed in than they usually would, in anticipation of spending ‘a lot of downtime watching Netflix’.
‘Mr Green’ told UNILAD:
The weed is a comfort on top of knowing people are taking the situation seriously. I expect when I’m baked and watching Cats, à la Seth Rogen, I’ll find it a greater comfort still. It’s a viewing aid and reduces anxiety about what is going on in the outside world.
It’s a small escape from a scary reality… And we’ve literally waited for this day – no responsibility, forced to stay home – why not get high and revisit some classic films and try finger painting?!
He explained that although they ‘expect’ there will be some shortages to come – ‘hence why we contacted our “green grocer” early’ – he isn’t worried about running out. ‘There wasn’t an issue at the time,’ he explained. ‘We’ve had multiple contacts reach out to assure us they’re stocked better than the supermarkets.’
Meanwhile in Canada, which isn’t yet on lockdown but its residents are being asked to self-isolate and work from home where possible, Andriy Luczka has witnessed people ‘lining up’ outside weed stores.
As cannabis is legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes across the country, it makes it ‘a lot easier to get hold of’ as it can be bought in shops. Still, people have been queuing up in recent days to make sure they have enough to get them through the coming weeks.
Andriy told UNILAD:
There have been line ups outside weed stores that I’ve seen. I honestly couldn’t tell you how much people were buying but there have been line ups. I imagine if the self-quarantining gets worse and more enforced people will panic.
I’ve only walked past two or three stores [due to now being in self-isolation]… [but there were] queues of between 15 and 20 people. So not massive, but I did read they were looking to limit the amount of people they were letting into liquor stores and weed stores at a time.
Basically, people can’t get enough of the stuff – even if it doesn’t seem to be as sought-after as toilet roll and pasta.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by coronavirus and the families of those who have lost their lives.
It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on coronavirus, click here.