af Louis JensenIllegal 11

“I’ll have a coke please”

One con (to some) to ending prohibition on drugs would be the knock on effect it will have on the legal, taxable drugs such as alcohol. A bar’s worst customer is someone who uses the public house facilities without actually buying a drink. Instead they are either in the toilets doing lines, popping pills or dosing their gums with an unknown crystal substance and then ordering tap water at the bar.

Popular drug-fueled party destinations such as IBIZA clocked onto this pretty quickly and as a result you’d be very hard pushed to find a club that sells a bottle of water for anything less than €10. We caught up with Danny Love, who has been sober from alcohol for more than ten years, to grasp an idea of what a night out is like for him solely on the gear.

Describe a typical night out/night out on the gear?

A typical night for me probably starts at around 6 in the evening, it is about then when I start making ‘the call’ to my dealer or dealers. You’ve got to beat what I like to call ‘getting snowed in’ and beat the rush hour of 9-10pm. Then whilst the missus is getting ready I cut up, grind and bag my shit ready for the night ahead.

It is when I meet with friends in a local pub, who most likely have a few drinks inside them, that I sneak off for my first bump, just to get a little buzz going. The barman asks what I’m drinking…’tap water please!’

Fast forward a few hours and I’ve had enough bathroom breaks to give off the impression that I have explosive diarrhoea. Therefore, we vacate to the next spot before suspicions are raised. But what I’m really waiting for is the after party where all the fun happens. Chilled vibes, no skanky toilets and no 6 foot /feet 6 bouncer knocking on the cubicle door as I roll up a £20 note… well £5 note… actually just the corner of my Oyster card.

Describe how you would take it? e.g in a bar / toilet / would you sneak off at certain time / between drinks?

As much as I hate it, it’s normally in the toilet of a bar as the after party feels like an age away. I normally pace myself, between friend’s orders at the bar, as I don’t really like doing it out, but I need it to keep on the same level as the group…sometimes we have to compromise and sneak one behind the pub with the excuse of grabbing ciga- rettes from Tesco.

Do you feel like it puts you on a level with everyone that is drinking?

I would say it just keeps me awake, buzzing for longer, cutting shapes on the dance-floor/ lounge. I don’t do it to match the drunk levels of those who drink, but just to have a good time and enhance my enjoyment of what is going on around me. Before I touched it, my nights would end around 1 in the morning, just at the point everyone is super smashed and drunkenly touching my face as if I was a furry wall. I’m not about that life. But… if on the gear, suddenly that touching of the face feels quite nice, and I’m discussing the meaning of life at 4.32am.

Why do you take cocaine and not drink?

It’s actually a medical issue. I’m allergic to alcohol and cannot physically drink it, so I gave up over 10 years ago now. I was always fine with not doing any drugs bar weed, but then three years ago I tried my first line.

The first time I did cocaine was at a house party. Okay my house party. I say party, it was just an impromptu Saturday BBQ with about 10 friends, which escalated slightly. Have you ever cooked some burgers on the BBQ at 3.30am?…I have. But rewind a few hours earlier. As usual for me, all of my friends were past the point of coherent conversation. One guy in particular who was pretty much stood up sleeping.

“You know what will sort him out,” someone asked “…a line”. And I kid you not, within an hour there was a knock at the door and everyone suddenly got excited. It was like wa- king up on Christmas morning. I immediately said no when my housemate offered me a line. “Na, I’ll end up in hospital”. It wasn’t until after some very good “gear pressure” that I asked, how to do it, what will happen when I do, where should I, how tight should I roll this note.

Then a mirror was pulled out. I know a mirror. So cliche. The first time I did it, I saw how stupid my face looked whilst snorting a line. Anyway the mirror was pulled out, the lines rationed, and away I went.

There was a little kick of energy but in my head, I was like, this isn’t working on me. Five minutes later, I experienced my first ‘drop’. That sleek feeling of a velvet rock dropping down behind your tonsils. 5 hours later, I was MC’in while flipping a chorizo burger.

Describe one bad scenario and one good scenario you have been in as a direct result of having/taking cocaine?

A bad scenario that I’ve gone through while taking cocaine is going out on an all nighter on a Friday only to then head off on the Saturday morning to play London’s South-West quarter-final football match. I literally felt like death. God knows how Maradona powered through… or rather powdered through. However, we won, I scored, so maybe it wasn’t that bad.

Another shit scenario, even before consump- tion, can be the ‘pick up’. As the only sober one in most of the groups I’m with, it usu- ally falls on me to call the dealer and make the transaction. Never more so than when a huge group of us embarked on Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park from 12pm and stayed in the same spot for 10 hours. There’s only so much alcohol can do for you.

Around halfway through the day, someone drunkenly asked me if I have any coke and if not, can I get some. This conversation is repeated about 10 or more times and at the end of it, I’ve made the call and I have £500 in my back-burner.

I make the long trek out to the entrance of Winter Wonderland and meet the dealer in his car. We make small talk and exchange. I go to leave, he stops me and asks where I got my Christmas jumper from. “Primark fam, Primark.”

As I walked back to the entrance, a sudden bit of realisation comes over me. Have I just become a middle man? Why do I have 10 grams of Cocaine on me at Winter Wonder- land? What a dick. But then the other part of my brain says. ”Well it is supposed to snow at Christmas.”

One of my most memorable and surreal moments on cocaine was 2 years back. I was working on a global marketing campaign with a certain celebrity who requested I sort out the nose bag. Doing cocaine with a global star, who you never in a million years thought would touch the stuff, in a recording studio, in the middle of Moscow… Now that was fun. #NoTellin

How do you feel when buying an alcoholic drink at the bar? Do you think the barman knows that you’re on something?

I feel totally fine. With the ridiculous mark up on alcohol, I have no quarms. To be honest 9/10 barmen rarely care. Who you need to be careful of is managers and bouncers. Bo- uncers have a job to do and managers like paper. In situations like this just give me an apple juice and let’s be on our way. Hold on, just need to nip to the loo…

How much do you spend on a typical night out?

I would probably spend anything between £10-£20 whilst out on the town on a typical night out. The latter end of the spectrum is if I order an Uber and hit the chicken shop on route home But take a hit of anything bet- ween £70-£100 for my gear, about the same, if not less, than what most of my friends spend on alcohol.