Next time you visit Madrid or Barcelona, breathe deeply. Along with the car exhaust, you’ll be getting a whiff of cocaine, according to a recent study.
The Superior Council of Scientific Investigations tested the air in various barrios in the two cities where drug use is popular, and found trace particles of cannabis, amphetamines, and a host of other drugs besides the ubiquitous Bolivian Marching Powder.
While this may seem like yet another of those headline-grabbing but flawed “scientific studies”, having lived in Madrid for the past several years I can believe it. It’s not unusual to catch a cloud of ganja while engaged in the simple act of walking down the street, or to walk into a club bathroom and find someone sniffing off the counter (I mean really people, have you no sense of hygiene!!!) The government has recently felt it necessary to start a national advertising campaign to remind people that drugs are, in fact, illegal.
This is something that many travelers forget at their peril. While some Spaniards wink at drug use, the cops will bust your ass same as back home.