From validating your parking to validating your love life, it’s easy to say there’s an app for everything. But could scoring drugs (or a drug buddy) be as convenient as ordering take out? The blossoming weed industry argues that it should be. Here is a guide (and a Los Angeles-based user's commentary) to the apps that might make your life as a recreational drug user easier, more interesting, and definitely more tech savvy.
Nestdrop is a Los Angeles startup that began as an alcohol delivery app and has been in and out of the law’s good graces since it made the jump to medical marijuana delivery last year. After downloading the app, it quickly let me know that the service was not available in Los Angeles despite delivering to nearby Pasadena. Nestdrop currently functions for weed delivery in Orange County, Oceanside, San Francisco, Stockton, Portland and Seattle. While Nestdrop touts itself as available in Seattle, other Washington-based cannabis industry startups such as Canary and Dave have not been able to stay operating legally within the state. I guess you can’t stay legal in a city if your business started there. That is, unless you’re Eaze.
After a failed attempt at using Nestdrop, I tried ordering through the San Francisco-based app Eaze (which touts Snoop Dogg as one of its investors). Although the app is advertised as being for both iOS and Android, in LA I could only find it in the Google Play store. After quickly getting an account verified via a photograph of my medical marijuana prescription and photo ID, the system let me browse through a selection of flowers (what the legal smoking community calls weed in plant form), prerolls, edibles and concentrates. But when I attempted to order any of their products, Eaze said that none of their drivers were in my area but that I should try again later. I doubted I would have had much luck later though, it’s clear from the app’s map that the drivers are steering clear of LA city proper and only driving in the nearby cities of Santa Monica and Culver City. The fact that any delivery drivers are showing up on the map at all is surprising because according to Eaze’s website, the app is only available in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
Nugg is the only app that is legally functioning in all of Los Angeles, but it is no longer available for download on iOS or Android, meaning you have to order through its web browser application. Despite not being able to get weed with the press of a single button, Nugg sorts out the closest dispensary and tells you which ones have delivery service, a similar function to that of Yelp, except it’s pot.
Weedmaps has a large online community and quite popular in the LA area. When opening the app’s actual “Weed Map,” I click on a few icons that look like food trucks, indicating which dispensaries deliver, and found Quality Organics. It’s easy to tell the difference between which reviews were real and which were fake because of the length, detail, and state of mind of the reviewer. "It is an amazing internet comment forum because everyone posting a review just got high. They visit a dispensary, buy weed, go home, smoke, and write a review,” a friend tells me. I call Quality Organics then text over a picture of my doctor’s referral letter and CA driver’s license. A mason jar of pot was at my door faster than the pizza I ordered soon after.
Leafly has more search features than Weedmaps, letting you search exclusively for producers or delivery services. Leafly also has the ability for people to review and share information on strains which is the the predominant use for the app in cities and states where weed is not legal. Many people acquiring weed in less 420 friendly states will use Leafly to match the strain they are buying to the photographs from the app, making sure they are receiving the correct product. One Philadelphia resident I spoke with said, “Leafly is the only app I trust for quality control and safety. It’s hard in Philly because we don’t have legal anything…So a lot of what people do is totally underground." Leafly also has a more aesthetically pleasing and user friendly interface than Weedmaps.
If you have $600 to spare you can buy a MyDx device that syncs to an app (CDx) on your phone in order to test your cannabis’s chemical makeup. The device is advertised in states where marijuana is legal to make sure there aren't any pesticides in your weed as well as to develop a profile on how your body reacts to different chemicals found in your pot. With MyDx, you can find the perfect strain to fit any mood. Probably the most practical aspect for this device/app combo applies mostly to those obtaining weed on the black market, as MyDx can be used to make sure your drugs are not laced with any harmful substances. The device and app developers behind MyDx are also working to apply this technology to test food and water for unwanted chemicals as well as air quality. Unfortunately, due to their illicit nature, the device will not be testing MDMA and hallucinogens for harmful ingredients any time soon.
So now that you’ve had your weed delivered, researched strains and know for sure your weed is 100% safe to use, you’ll need to find someone to enjoy it with (or not). Thank goodness for High There! This app is basically Tinder for stoners. You enter your energy level when on weed, what you want to do with the other party (chat, go out, or stay in) and list the activities you enjoy when high. Then you can click on different users’ profiles deciding if you would like to connect. At face value, this is a great concept but there are some serious glitches and usability problems. According to one user, he lost multiple conversations with people on the app. “If it crashes and continues to have issues, I’m probably going to delete it and move onto something else,” he told me three minutes before our conversation disappeared due to a glitch. For first time users, the interface is not 100% intuitive; you have to go into a separate connections menu and approve the requests from those that liked your profile before you can start conversations, and under connections there are three separate windows for chats, requests and “friends” aka matches under a submenu. If you do push through the hiccups and get the hang of the interface, you can talk to a lot of likeminded people who are down to chill as your 420 friend. One user was batting two out of five with hooking up with girls he met through the app. “I’m a smooth talker, don’t judge,” he told me, so I guess I should say 420 friends, possibly with benefits.
Speaking of 420, in case you didn’t know when to smoke up, one of the most prevalent weed culture apps are those that remind users when it’s 4:20. This includes Blaze O’Clock (or more obviously called, the 420 Wallpaper Changer) which will not only give a quick audible alert, but also converts your phone’s background to one of eight weed themed wallpapers (two of which feature Snoop Dogg) for 420 seconds. I’m not quite sure what happens on iOS but on my Android device there is also a little cannabis leaf that appears in the upper left-hand corner where my roaming and data error symbols might show up.
Think you can make better pot brownies than the ones you had delivered on Eaze? Guess what? There are a plethora of different apps such as THC Calc that can you figure out the right amount of weed flour or oil to use when making your own edibles.
Maybe weed’s not your thing. You’ve been listening to a little too much DJ Screw and have decided you need to get your hands on some Codeine to get your drank on, ala “sip on some sizzurp.” With Instagram unable to ban all tags related to illegal drug use, you can get almost any prescription or club drug delivered to you just by DMing an account that advertises piles of pills or wads of cash. Some users just advertise products to their current customer base, “Especially now with buds and wax,” said a recreational pot user from the East Coast, but she said she would be afraid to buy from someone she didn’t know on Instagram. It’s true Instagram isn’t necessarily the safest way to meet a drug dealer, but is obtaining a prohibited substance ever 100% safe? One of the biggest red flags is being asked to wire transfer a scammer who doesn’t give you a tracking number when sending you their product. Also, be careful not to deal with amateurs (or warehouses) who haven't shut off their geolocation services or still have their Instagram link to their real Facebook pages and pedestrian private messenger services like Kik, as these are all easy ways to be tracked by authorities.
It’s highly recommended you discuss terms, transfer confirmations and delivery tracking through a truly private messenger like Wickr or Surespot that doesn’t allow screenshots and has more control of message destruction than something like SnapChat. One dealer I was talking with asked me to delete our Instagram DM chat as soon as we connected on Wickr. She had been shipping for half of a year to Canada, California, and a few other places, and didn’t trust anyone. That’s why she was so keen for us to move the conversation over to Wickr as quickly as possible. I wonder if this dealer even realizes that despite the top secret feeling you get when using these secret messenger apps that you can still photograph any phone’s screen with external devices (I photographed our conversation with prices and all using my DSLR, and you could easily do so with your cell phone, tablet, or computer’s webcam even).
Don’t feel safe using any textual communication for your illicit activities? Maybe you’d feel more secure using one of the numerous burner cell phone apps, such as Disposable Numbers (or Burner), to get a temporary number to call a drug dealer who is probably also using a burner app to arrange multiple illicit Instagram dealings from multiple untraceable phone numbers. I was told by one person I spoke with via Instagram DM that his dealer would only talk to me over the phone.
What about when things go south? Curious about what would happen if you were drug tested? Meet the Marijuana Drug Test Calculator, an app where you input data like your weight, waist size, age, and frequency of toking, and the app measures your information alongside its giant crowdsourced database of drug users and their results to determine whether or not you’d make the cut. Thinking maybe it will pass through your system before the test? Find out by using the Drug Test Calculator, an app that generates the number of days left until you pee clean. Still fucked? Well, there’s the not so subtly titled Easy Detox & Pass Drug Test, an app which outlines exactly what you need to do in order to pass that drug test (huffing Kool-Aid Powder?) using mostly ingredients available at your local grocery store.
Now go forth into the world you shady technological maverick you, and make sure to thank your service provider.