Vincent Teresa worked under mafia boss Ray Patriarca, of New England. He wrote a book, My Life in the Mafia. Teresa eventually had to seek the protection of the Federal government and the Federal Witness Protection Program. Teresa’s testimony put a large number of the Patriarca crime family in jail. In his book, he explained how Patriarca was deathly against dealing in narcotics or junk.
It is alleged that Ray Patriarca was one of the first investors at the Dunes Hotel.
Teresa wrote, “There is nothing worse than dealing in narcotics as far as Patriarca was concerned. It was a rule that preceded him. None of the old Mafioso ever fooled around with it. For that reason, Patriarca always hated Vito Genovese and never trusted Joe Bonanno. They both dealt in junk. So did their mobs. ‘Never trust them,’ he told me. ‘Never trust the New Jersey or New York crew. They fool around with junk. Don’t you ever get involved with any of them that handles that stuff—understand?’ I understood. There was a kind of finality the way he said it. It impressed me.”
“The last thing you want in the mob is publicity. If you catch a bookie taking a number, everybody laughs about it: What are they bothering that poor guy for, they ask? The people figure everybody gambles, but when the cops catch a guy selling narcotics, the first thing they say in New England is “Skin him alive.’ ‘He is no good,’ ‘Throw him in the can.’ Then everyone is in the soup. Raymond didn’t want that nonsense.”
I wonder what the mob would have thought about the marijuana dispensaries springing up everywhere. I will bet that they would not approve for the same reasons, and I know many will disagree. I would say that the use of marijuana surely does not help a person get to the gambling tables, or aid their ability to play the casino games. Today with all the day spas in the various hotels, this behavior only encourages less time at the gambling tables and more interest in staying either drunk or high. One old timer used to say, “At least when a person drinks and gets drunk, he might get a hangover and lay off drinking for awhile. When a person gets high, he stays high. Nobody shows up for work.”