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Save money, Prof: I can sniff out bores

Tales From The Water Cooler

Those of you with no recreational drugs in your system – all of you, I should hope – might manage to recall my shame-faced admission last month that, due to an incident in my youth when I dropped some LSD before playing five-a-side football, I could never criticise Lance Armstrong’s unCorinthian behaviour too harshly.

Well, I fear in unmasking myself as a drug freak, I may have triggered a far-too-liberal approach to “the Devil’s medicine”. A professor at King’s College London has emailed hundreds of his students, requesting “healthy male volunteers, 25-40 years of age, to take part in a clinical study involving nasal administration of cocaine”. (That sound you hear – like R2-D2 being attacked by a gang of vigilante espresso machines – is the professor’s inbox imploding from the impact of a thousand emails arriving simultaneously, all bearing the subject heading: “Me! Pick meeeeeeeee!!!!”)

Did no one imagine there might be one or two thousand students who would be quick to see the appeal of some free drugs, especially some pharmaceutical-grade blow? This could cost the college a fortune. Just how much are they going to lay on? Only one line each? Risky. I understand cocaine, like heroin, can be very “moreish”.

It seems the research is intended to reveal the effects of the drug on the users.

Well, if all the professor wanted to do was observe a room full of paranoid, sweaty-faced bores talking over one another, every man convinced that they could be the next Messiah, he could have saved himself the cost of the Charlie and just gone to the next Labour Party conference.