My first time was in a dingy Edinburgh alleyway in 199-1. It was perhaps an unnecessarily sordid introduction to a drug that's now almost as much a dinner party staple as a Dido CD. Of course. the great thing with marijuana (besides making you feel floaty and giggly and turning the most mundane TV programme into an exercise in errant surrealism) is that. without actually being legal. it‘s not really illegal. Which means you can smoke a joint in your front room. in the park or in the odd pub or club. but that it still feels a bit naughty. And naughtiness is a vital part of any drugs appeal.

But it doesn‘t pay to get too blase. After an extended weekend on the green stuff in Amsterdam. my mate Dave decided it would be a good idea to take half an ounce across to France. We put the acoustic guitar in the back seat and Liz in the driver‘s seat (because girls get arrested less?) before getting stopped on the French border. They didn‘t have dogs. so they jtist asked us lots of questions and emptied our bags. The weed was in the roof cavity. but Liz had sadly forgotten that she had a bit in her bag. It dropped onto the table. Time stopped. Luckily. they didn‘t. and started talking to us about the European Cup instead. It went back in the bag.

L'sually. marijuana isn’t that exciting. It's less sociable than home less outgoing than coke. and a lot less energetic than E. But one of the best feelings in the world is knowing. all of a sudden. that you‘re utterly fucked. before looking around thinking: ‘Shit. everyone else is really with it.‘ shortly before your entire company collapses into a blurred world of strange connections and inadvertent laughter in which you‘re liable to

the covenant. And maybe. just maybe. it is. (James Smart)

His name was Dan. The last I heard he‘d stopped dealing those £5 bags of heaven cos he got banged up for possessing l5()() tabs of acid. He tried to cop a plea bargain saying

stare at the fridge as if it‘s the ark of

they were for personal use but that’s another story. I loved speed and I still do. At least I would do ifl could ever get my filthy mitts on the stuff.

Cocaine overtook speed as the perfect social companion some time in the early 90s when a certain type of drug dilettantisrn entered the fray. Who knows why. Ifl want my ego massaged to the size of Japan while being in the worst mood I’ve ever been in. I‘d pay a couple of lady boys to suck me dry then beat the living crap out of me.

Speed. Benzedrine. Dexedrine. uppers. mother's little helper (also a pet name for Valium). base. crystal. However you want it named. it‘s the gold star of self-abuse. It's cheap. lasts all night. makes you feel reassuringly ill the next day and keeps the chewing gum trade buoyant. I would trade my incontinent great aunt for a bag tomorrow. but I have trouble just getting down the pub these days. (Josef Harrison)

Back in the time before whipped cream came spuning out of an aerosol canister like a clown‘s shaving foam. there existed a device called the Sparklet. It was shaped like an old fashioned soda siphon: you put fresh cream into the main bit. screwed a capsule of gas into the top and released it into the reservoir of cream. And. hey presto. there was enough whipped cream to make custard pies for a whole circus.

All of which meant precisely zero to the bunch of students and punks I shared a squat with in the early 80s. Until. that is. we discovered that the gas used to scooin the cream was nitrous oxide: N20: or is N02? Anyway. that‘s laughing gas to those of us who slept through chemistry. And the thing about laughing gas is that it really does make you laugh. I know. because if you left out the cream and inhaled the Nitrous Oxide straight from the siphon a bit like using a balloon full of helium to make your voice sound like Mickey

Mouse you got the full effect.

First came a ten-second trip. Not your full-blown affair. but you did go off into a weird space where there were serious mandalas and even audio hallucinations. unheard of in other psychedelic experiences.

And then came the hysteria. Peels of laughter fit to make your guts split open. Everything was funny. Even Thatcher. Well. for a few minutes at least. And that was it. leaving you with that glorious. warm and languorous feeling you get after a good belly laugh. Everything didn’t seem so bad after all. Except Thatcher. of course. For a laugh. I looked for Sparklets in Jenners recently. But it appears they don’t make them any more. Now that’s sad. (Thom Dibdin)

Remember the ‘Thriller' video? Of course you do. On the way home from seeing a scary movie. Jacko and his date pass a graveyard whereupon scores of zombies appear and give chase: well. as much chase as they can with the flesh dropping off their bones and their limbs all stiff. When the couple have nowhere left to run. Jacko‘s girl turns to him and . . . the horror! He too has turned into one of them. If you can get past the irony ofJackson looking like a ghoul. the concept behind this video is actually quite terrifying. and a common theme of nightmares.

Maybe my imagination has been a little too warped by all the horror books I devoured from an unsuitably early age. but put me in a room full of people fucked-up on drugs and/or drink. and I feel just like Jacko‘s date. Familiar faces become contorted and unrecognisable. What comes out of their mouths (besides the drool) is a stream of unintelligible. incomprehensible babble and my friends then just frighten me. Such is my lot as the only person in the world or so it seems that doesn‘t either get fall-down drunk or drug-fucked on a regular basis.

I put this extreme reaction down to growing up with not one. but two alcoholic parents. It left me with an unspeakable fear of seeing people I love and trust becoming changed. It also left me with a solid resolve never to be like that myself. Being the straight girl in a circle of full-on party people is not easy.

Sometimes. it can be downright dull and occasionally. I wish I could just pop a pill. relax and enjoy the ride. Then I turn to my friends and see how they have changed. and my revulsion keeps me straight.

(Julia Wilkinson)

You did go off into a weird space where there were even audio


80% of List readers think Scotland should have cannabis


28% of List readers first used drugs before they were 15 years old

S eed was e first drug taken by 4% of List readers

62% of list readers

have gone to work or

college high

Drugs make 57%

of list readers


24 THE LIST 2() Jun-4'. Jul 2002