How do Balinese shroom dealers stay out of prison?

Indonesia has some of the most draconian drugs laws in the world. Smugglers and dealers face execution. (Earlier this year Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were put to death by firing squad for attempting to smuggle heroin into Australia). Magic mushrooms are also illegal in Indonesia. Possession could result in a minimum four-year and maximum 12-year prison term. And yet dealers sell them on the streets of Bali without much fear of the cops. David Allegretti of Vice interviewed some Balinese shroom dealers to learn the story.

Are you selling the same stuff as all the other dealers on the strip?

Mushrooms yes, because most of us get it from the same guy. But cannabis no, the other guys don't want to sell the cannabis or any other drugs, they're too dangerous.

So why do you sell them?

Because they're only dangerous if you sell or if you take them through the airport, but you're just a tourist and you won't have a lot. If the police stop you they'll just want a little money, maybe around 500,000 rupiah [approximately $40 USD]. They won't take you to the jail—too much work for them. They are lazy brother.

So you're saying the police are corrupt?

Corruption is a dirty word. It's more that they don't waste time on small problems. Police are men, and every man is different. Maybe you can get one in a bad mood and he can cause problems, and that's why it's better to stay in your hotel and smoke.

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