Saying “I don’t need drugs to have fun” doesn’t make you a better person

By Kai Teo

 “Sorry, I only take Buddha Tabs.”

“Sorry, I only take Buddha Tabs.”

On our sacred festival grounds, our underground dance floors, and even our everyday EDM parties, there will always be a number of people high on mind-altering substances, be it alcohol, psychedelics, uppers, or downers. Everyone’s dancing, some are soaked with sweat, someone’s naked on a table, but you know, they seem happy.

And then there’s you. 

Coming straight from an Ashtanga yoga class, fuelled by a big glass of homemade kombucha, third eye all open and shit, going, “Humans need to learn how to be more conscious of what they put into their bodies, I don’t see why we need to take anything to enjoy a night out with good music. The music is my drug. We need to learn how to channel the power of music to heal our own souls. We need to wake up to our shakti.” 

Ok, my self-righteous friend, I get it. Oh, “Shanti” is your middle name? Right, cool. 

You see, it is also my wish to be able to party 12 hours without using any enhancers, natural or chemical. I might have done it a number of times as well. You know, just to try it out. I also went, “Haha, look at me you losers! I am powered by the universe!” I felt amazing, I felt special, and I felt fucking spiritually advanced. 

I’m sure all of us know how to have fun without any drugs. But when someone offers me a little dose of psychedelics, I usually go, “Why not?” Are the 130 micrograms actually tainting my experience, or is hurting my self-image of a drug-free, clean human being? 

I understand that many of us, in the name of spirituality and self discovery, have given up, or avoided, using substances at parties and festivals. Yes, because we want to explore if our own minds can achieve the same level of ecstasy, or if our bodies can channel the same level of energy. I’m pretty sure we can get there, but at the same time, let’s also remind ourselves that not everyone is so #woke. 

We might have previous bad experiences with substances, or seen our loved ones fall down an endless spiral of harmful addiction, or maybe some of us even have had someone close to our hearts die of an overdose. We all have our own reasons not to touch a certain drug, or all mind-altering substances altogether. 

But when we start thinking that we’re better than someone who likes to get a little tipsy, or another who pops a funny pill once in a while, we’re being judgmental assholes. And guess what, we’re not as #woke as we think we are. 

When we start going into the “all drugs are bad” mindset, we’re just about as much of a bigot as Nixon, the mastermind behind the global war on drugs. Sure, some drugs are unhealthy, some can give us a terrible serotonin hangover, but hey, people take them because they’re fun. It might not be your idea of fun, but someone else might like the feeling of walking on marshmallows, or seeing fractals in a glass of beer, or staring at their hands for two hours. So who are we to judge?

 Nicholas the cat doesn’t judge. Be like Nicholas.

Nicholas the cat doesn’t judge. Be like Nicholas.

And where do we draw the line? Chemicals vs organic? Psychedelics vs pharmaceuticals? Sure, you don’t take drugs, but that coffee you drank this morning definitely wasn’t fair-trade. Oh, a glass of wine once in a while is ok, but a puff of changa isn’t? That being said, the cocaine supply chain is pretty fucked up, loads of bloodshed and exploitation along the way, just sayin’.

We’re all beings capable of making our choices in life. And given the comprehensive amount of information we can find online these days, many of us are also conscious of the pros and cons of the stuff we choose to put into our bodies. It’s personal freedom, and everyone prefers to dive into different states of consciousness, or not. Let’s stop judging one another shall we? When we see someone about to take something that might potentially be dangerous, we can always go up to the person and let them know. If we see someone going through a bad trip, we can always help out by giving them water, food, or company. 

None of us are better than anyone else. We’re different. We like different kinds of snacks. And we get high off different shit. When we start being more accommodating to one another’s preferences, with or without substances, maybe then can we all finally become more #woke (is this still a popular hashtag?).


If you’re interested in more honest, down-to-earth spirituality, do check out Rainbow Warrior Handbook – The Underground Guide to the Psychedelic Revolution. I’m humbled to say that I wrote it, and I’m grateful to have presented it at different festivals this summer, including the legendary Ozora Festival. So yea, here’s the link: http://www.buddhamag.org/book/rainbow-warrior-handbook