We Talked to the Cops at the Gathering of the Juggalos

Nate "Igor" Smith
Juggalos on Wednesday. See more photos from Day 1 of the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos.

"We're here to keep the peace," stated one of the officers. When pressed as to how he was recruited to work one of the most notoriously lawless events in the nation, the answer was simple: "money." He also noted that the owner of the property had a "very good relationship" with the local authorities (echoed in Jumpsteady's statement) and that they understood that juggalos were a self-contained group with their own court system (the hilarious Juggalo Night Court).

Still, the open-air drug market, infamous in days of yore, has largely dried up at this year's Gathering. While there are definitely still drugs being passed around -- and probably for sale somewhere -- there is no "drug bridge," no heroin being sold over megaphones and no giant canisters of medical-grade nitrous oxide (loudly present last year, and reportedly smuggled onto the grounds weeks before the event and buried in the earth to be retrieved when needed).

By our estimation, though, this is a good thing for the Gathering. The drug-dealing scene last year was obnoxiously pushy and often downright predatory -- "I'm gonna rape your mom if you don't buy our drugs" was one sales pitch we overheard last year.

As things stand, we hopefully won't see another drug-related death, and maybe the Gathering can find Thornville, Ohio, to be a more permanent home without the illegal activities running rampant on the grounds. The police seem to think so -- as of now, anyway.

Follow the authors, Daniel Hill and Drew Ailes, on Twitter at @fatrobocop and @CountBakula, respectively.

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