The Illuminati-sounding Drinking Water Inspectorate found traces of the drugâ€™s metabolized form, benzoylecgonine, at four inspection sites, peed out by coked-up Brits and not completely removed during water plantsâ€™ â€œintensive purification treatments.â€ The scientists also found trace amounts of caffeine, epilepsy medication, and pain-killer ibuprofen.
Steve Rolles, from the drug policy think tank Transform, told The Sunday Times that the findings were an indication of the scale of the use of the drug in Britain today. â€œWe have the near highest level of cocaine use in western Europe,â€ he said. â€œIt has also been getting cheaper and cheaper at the same time as its use has been going up.â€
According to the charity DrugScope, there are around 180,000 dependent users of crack cocaine in England, and nearly 700,000 people aged 16-59 are estimated to take cocaine every year in Britain.
Jessica Roy writes for Time that the professorsâ€”experts in toxicology and bacteriologyâ€”found the ten most popular books at the Antwerp library and screened them for germs and other substances. All ten of the titles ended up testing positive for traces of cocaine, which suggests that Belgian library patrons are having just the BEST time when they borrow, say, Wuthering Heights or the latest offering from Sue Grafton. In all seriousness, Roy reports that the drug wasnâ€™t present in large enough quantities for unsuspecting patrons to feel any effects, but they could end up testing positive for cocaine.
The copies of 50 Shades of Grey, meanwhile, produced even cringe-inducing results, in the form of the herpes virus. E.L. Jamesâ€™s wildly popular erotic novel apparently tested positive for traces of the virus, albeit in minimal enough quantities that the professors assure that thereâ€™s no public health risk and no possibility of contracting the STD from contact with the book.
Add this to the list of potential consequences of sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts totaling $85 billion this year that went into effect on Friday: more cocaine on our streets.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, the Navy is pulling back from an operation that kept 160 tons of cocaine and 25,000 pounds of marijuana out of the United States last year. The program, called “Operation Martillo,” was a joint effort between the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency, and governmental agencies in Europe and Latin America. But now, due to sequestration, the Navy will not deploy two of its ships slated to replace two homebound Navy vessels that were participating in the program.