Perhaps it is because I can‘t forgive the stuff for making me look foolish. Four years ago I took a drug for the first time which I had been told would make me feel like a million dollars. Seconds later I was wheezing and fumbling around in rny jacket for my Ventolin inhaler. feeling as far as possible from a champagne supernova as is humanly possible.

Perhaps it's my fault that I‘m asthmatic but the stuffI had just snorted up my nose also made me feel quite depressed. My girlfriend. who appeared to be having a far greater time on the stuff than I was. shouted at me in an attempt to cheer me up. I burst into tears. I‘ve tried it a couple of times since and although I’ve not been reduced to the same wheezing. blubbing mess. I was forced to admit that I really don't like cocaine.

I'm sure it's not just because it made me look like a twat. I‘ve never understood the lyric that JJ Cale wrote and Iiric Clapton made famous. Cocaine doesn’t lie‘.’ Cocaine is the greatest chemical deceiver there is. Here is a drug that has single- handedly turned the swagger of some of my favourite things into bluster founded on poor performance. Oasis. The Stone Roses. Liverpool FC in the late 90s. Shouldn‘t you question the veracity of any substance which is taken commonly by journalists and PR types‘.’

I'm old enough now to know that no drug is ever going to make me more creative or even more fun. I still take them because they either give me energy or relax me. but I know that cocaine is not for me.

I met a guy who had been a heroin addict in the 80s. He remembered all the cokeheads calling him a junkie and making out that they had made a wiser choice and could daily shovel spoonfuls of the stuff tip their nose. Twenty years later. he‘d been clean fora while. Some of the cokeheads had done the same. The others. to use one of those little lies that that they themselves would once have used.

had disappeared. (Gerry Taylor)

I have never wom white gloves for a reason other than to referee billiards matches. I have never worn fluorescent clothing for anything other than safety reasons. Face painting is for kids. I have never blown a whistle where it didn‘t involve a free kick or samba band. I may gurn. but not for the camera. I avoid the generation of tenuous friendships that only last an evening. I am not particularly proud of sweating excessively in public. but it is an unfortunate side effect. I take ecstasy but I am not a raver.

()ddly. I spend more time defining what I am not rather than what I am. Maybe I'm paranoid. Ecstasy is. however. a better social lubricant than anything I have found to date. Conversation is easy and more honest and you don’t get lairy and desperately try to cop off. It doesn't make you want to eat kebabs. The feeling of empathy towards others it is not manufactured an arsehole is still an arsehole you're just unlikely to want to smash their head off the kerb come the end of the night.

Yes. you do get a hangover but find me one truly selfish hedonistic activity that doesn’t mean some kind of retribution? People die on ecstasy. I have read the research and the tabloids. But that's a whole other debate. A chance you take. like any indulgence. be it fast cars. unsafe sex or undiluted alcohol. Ecstasy is not a way of life. I do it because it makes me feel good.

Trying to describe what it feels like on ecstasy is like defining that bit in a brilliant song when it makes you shiver. ()thers equate it to an incredible orgasm. exquisite food. mind-blowing art or even adrenaline- injected sport. but it is essentially a hugely personal and unique experience. There‘s a word for that feeling and they even natned a drug after it. (Rowan Parker)

Just how ace is smoking. eh‘.’ ‘Not very". I hear every one of you abstainers cry. ‘It gives you lung cancer. you‘re more likely than any of us to keel over of heart disease: oh yeah. and you absolutely stink. Just remember what happened to Bill Hicks before you start banging on about how cool it is. eh‘."

All fair points but let me assure you. even as a smoker of 4()—plus snouts a day. I‘m the last person to start spreading the weed gospel. You see. in addition to the above. I (and the rest of my tany-ftngered brethren) could tell you it also leads to a bugger of a cough. acute paranoia attacks when that tight chest pain hits you just before bedtime and. one week before payday. an unnatural skill for finding a few bob like your life depends on it that beats anything on display in Trainspotting.

Ask any smoker how they started and they’ll probably recount how everyone was lighting up by the bike sheds at school. In my case. though. the affair really got going during a year working in a high street shop: in fact. it‘s a wonder I didn‘t move right on to shooting up. because there’s nothing like a life of soul-busting repetition coupled with some needless aggravation to make you look for some relief. no matter how brief.

And that‘s probably the main reason I don’t stop. Of course. nicotine is to the tobacco plant what Charlie is to coca. but that messianic lirst-fag-of—the-morning stress-buster is the surest way to make life seem bearable without months of costly rehab at the end of it. Deadlines looming? Pah! Anything is possible.

Life‘ll get easier one day. though. and when it does I promise I'm going to quit the old-lashioned way. by sheer grit alone. No. I really mean it this time. (David Pollock)

Conversation is easy and more honest, you don’t get lairy and it doesn’t make you want kebabs

3% of List readers feel that cannabis should never be Iegalised

Cocaine is the dru of choice or 9% of list readers

90% of List readers don’t believe that taking soft drugs will always lead to usin

har er


11% of list readers know someone who has died as a direct result of taking drugs

Qt? Joli—.1 Jul 2002 THE LIST 21