• U.S.

MARKETING: From One Joint To Another

1 minute read

Amid the welter of toll-free 800 numbers, this one certainly stood out. Callers to 1-800-WANT-POT got exactly what they wanted — $50 envelopes containing one-eighth of an ounce of marijuana delivered by bicycle to Manhattan street corners. The service was allegedly the brainchild of Michael Cesar, 48, a felon who formerly ran a similar service under the name DIAL-A- JOINT. Now Cesar faces serious time in a joint of a different kind. Last week he was arrested by New York City narcotics officers at his Greenwich Village comic-book shop — where cops on the scene noticed a conspicuous absence of comic books — and charged with possession of reefer madness. Conspiracy counts are likely to follow.

On the streets Cesar is reportedly known as the “Pope of Pot,” high priest of the Church of the Realized Fantasy, whose ad hoc philosophy preaches the evil of money and the virtue of easy access to sex and drugs. For all Cesar’s fulminations against hard cash, however, he certainly did not spurn it. Police say that, by Cesar’s own estimate, the pot line netted $40,000 a day, enough for him to purchase a luxury Eastside Manhattan apartment and a mansion in New Jersey.

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