Define "open air drug market," please.

And is there any other kind?

I think it would be defined as dealers hanging out in an outdoor setting and selling to people in their cars and walking up. Someone dealing out of a house wouldn’t be “open air”.

Some of the ones I’m aware of in Sydney involve dealers operating out of houses, but the buyer does not leave the car. There is a lookout sitting on the front stoop, and he will suss out your approaching car, maybe coming out himself if you are a regular or going inside for back-up if you are an unknown. I’d tend to clarify this as “open air”, despite the operations being based in a house.

Anyway, is this some sort of US legal terminology? Accepted media phrase? I’ve never heard it.

“Suss out”?

Sorry - (reverts back to intl. English) “investigate, check”

—We’re Not Gonna Take It

Another term that could apply is drive-thru. :wink:

“Suss” is used in that sense quite frequently around here. I don’t think it’s an Australianism.

An example of another kind of drug market from “open air” would be the infamous “crack house”.

I don’t know the etymology, but it’s used around these parts (Chicago) both in the newspapers and by the police. It’s probably obvious, but should be noted that an “open air market” is a specific and more-or-less permanent place (i.e. Ashland and Morse which was just busted a few months ago) and not some guy occasionally wandering the streets (like on my block every now and then).

At least in the areas I’m familiar with, there’s a fairly complex system of lookouts, hideaways and escape routes should the police come. If anyone’s really interested, I can dig up the article about the aforementioned bust, but it took the police quite some time to learn the routines and gather enough evidence to make their case work which suggests that the drug dealers were fairly sophisticated in their operation.

Heh. Way back in the day, we could drive down certain streets in Santa Ana, CA, and it really was like a drug bazaar. A lookoout on the corner at each end of the street, then a block-long group of guys hawking their various wares, trying to out-do each other to attract your business (“hey homes, don’t buy shit from that crackhead, come over here…”). You stopped your car by your man, and did the deal. No haggling over price, no checking weights, just do it and drive through. Most people were heavily armed and all were badasses (buyers and sellers alike), so there was very little trouble. Nuclear deterent and all that.

24 hours a day, in broad daylight. Cops must have been retarded not to bust it.

Dilated pupils, or shift of the earth’s rotational axis? :wink:

I imagine the alternative is the sort of dealer with an existing clientele, while the “open-air market” sells to all comers.

**Chairman Pow. ** Dig it, man, dig.

So two alternatives to an open air market are crackhouses and, I guess, the deliveryman drug dealer.

Wait-wait-wait. They actually sell crack in crackhouses? You sure? I thought crackhouses were there for crackheads to share crack they’d score elsewhere, congregate, fuck and sleep. Like, you can’t really buy opium in an opium den, do you?

I don’t have vast personal experience with crack houses, you understand, but the Oxford English Dictionary defines a “crack house” as “a place where crack is bought and sold”.

I imagine the writers of the OED don’t have much personal experience with crackhouses either.

I’ve lived near two and – it’s kind of counterintuitive to sell crack in crackhouses because crack addicts are broke. Crackhouses are usually nasty-ass abandoned flophouses where homeless addicts hang out. I could see crack traded there in exchange for blowjobs and sex, but not actually bought there. I definitely don’t see a known dealer going anywhere where he’ll be outnumbered by poor desperate addicts.

Perhaps, but you can definitely buy opium in an opium den.

[quote}I definitely don’t see a known dealer going anywhere where he’ll be outnumbered by poor desperate addicts.*[/quote]

Heh. Used to do it all the time.


ACK! Damned coding!


I didn’t quite believe this until I Googled “opium den” and saw pictures of languid opium smokers being served on little trays by opium house proprietors. Yowza! I’ve never been inside but that most certainly does not happen in the crack house two blocks over. Two way different drug cultures, there.

I think, contrary to the OED, a typical crackhouse is where crack cocaine users congregate but where crack itself may only be occassionally bought and sold.

Actually, a crack house is any house where the owner, or a plurality of the inhabitants don’t immediately scream “Get the fuck out of here!” when a crack head walks in. House is defined as more than one wall, and a portion of ceiling. Roof optional.