What I did not like is that the hippies take up Buddhism due to their drug experiences, and also go on to preach about how drugs could be beneficial for Buddhists.
No one said this. What was said was that for many people in the west, beginning in the sixties, having some experiences with hallucingens expanded their consciousness so they became interested in Eastern religion.
Everyone here recognizes that Buddha taught that one should avoid intoxicants.
However, everything in the world is medicine when one knows how to use it. Everything in the world is poison when one does not know how to use it. This also applies to hallucinogens. For example, there is promising research that taking LSD,etc., reduces anxiety about death in terminally ill patients. There is research that shows that MMDA helps permenantly alleviates PTSD. Marijuana is proven to reduce nausea in people doing chemo-therapy, and those who have long term chronic pain, and its effects are much less destructive that opiates. Alcohol also has many medicinal effects. The Buddha permitted monks to use alcohol for medical conditions. So we must have a flexible view.
Perfectly respectible non-Buddhist people are better people because they have had spiritual experiences from taking Ayahuasca, and so on. We may not make that choice for ourselves, but we are in no position to judge them.
Some people destroy their lives with food. But no one suggests that we all stop eating.