People tend to discuss the prohibition of drugs as if “drugs” (by which they mean illegal drugs) were a single thing, the effects of which are all negative. I'm going to talk about one drug, ecstasy, and the positive influence it has had on my life. Just as drugs are different so are people; I can only describe my own experience of ecstasy, and I do not maintain that yours would be the same.
Ecstasy brings me a surge of elation, excitement, boundless love for, and curiosity about, the World. From this delicious frame of mind comes a child's desire to explore, connect and share a wonderful relationship with Earth and its people. Dancing is more enchanting; music more divine. E's heavenly, for me.
Probies among you will say that it is known that drugs make you feel you good and that this counts strongly as a con not a pro. Speak thus of heroin, crystal meth or crack cocaine and I would be the first to agree. Those drugs never stop taking as they give, they enslave. That has not been my experience of ecstasy. I love it, but took it five or six times a year in my twenties and now in my thirties I expect that number to fall not rise.
Ecstasy is more than a highly pleasant physical sensation. Those who enjoy its effects become happy, excited, lovely and they behave as such. Sure, that behaviour is chemically enabled, but it's the behaviour not the drug that makes it such a wonderful experience – there's a reason no one stays in with Mandy. Ecstasy, particularly at festivals, has taught me that if you approach people in a spirit of friendliness and fun they will almost always respond in kind, regardless of whether they are under the influence of drugs themselves. Love and bon-homie are not base quantities like gold or land, that giving away depletes; the more you give of love the more you receive – is there another market as godlike as that? I go months without getting high yet whenever I remember those experiences I smile. Smile at your street, bet you it smiles back.
I was brought up to be nice and polite to people I knew. With people I didn't know a different code applied, one of politeness which was very much based on leaving people alone and not causing a fuss. Since taking ecstasy I've respected that difference between people I know and those I don't less and less, and I've found treating people I don't know as I would my friends has led to umpteen positive experiences. And isn't that why we spend so much time in the godless economy of money, so we can reward ourselves with good times? Treat everyone as your friend and all your times will be good.