Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

High Hombres

If you want to get high in Spain, just walk outside. In May, an air-quality test conducted by the state-run Superior Council of Scientific Investigations found trace amounts of several drugs, including cocaine and lysergic acid (a component of LSD), in air samples taken outdoors in Madrid and Barcelona. To be fair, the Madrid sample was taken near a dilapidated building inhabited by drug dealers, while Barcelona's was taken near a university. (Oh, those college students!) But the U.S. State Department ranks Spain as the largest cocaine consumer in Europe, and the trace amounts of drugs in the air were greater than those tested in other countries. So can you really get high by breathing deeply in Spain? Hardly. Drug amounts registered between 29 and 850 picograms — a picogram is one-trillionth of a gram — per cubic meter of air.