New technologies have always been able to help researchers learn more about our lives, our health and the way we interact with each other. This time, due to new technology, researchers have been able to detect different substances in the air. What they are finding is pretty shocking! In Italy, where the first large tests were done, they were able to detect cocaine and marijuana in the air throughout most of Rome.
Researchers have long been able to find traces of drugs in the sewage systems of major cities but to find it in the air is next to impossible, unless there is a decent amount of the stuff. Researcher now have that ability and have used it throughout Italy to come up with some statistical models. An example, They were able to also find a direct correlation between the amount of drugs in the air and certain cancers and behavioral conditions.
They were able to use police and medical data to correlate that the areas with the highest concentrations of drugs in the air are also the areas with the highest incidence of diseases associated with those drugs, drug addiction and the typical crimes associated with increase drug use in a particular area.
The tests, for now seem to be an completely accurate barometer of the amount of drug use in a given area.
This can be very useful technology for anti-drug zealots. Imagine the police being able to test the air and prevent crime? Or how about using the levels of an area before and after prevention laws are put in place to determine their effectiveness?
As always these types of things could have consequences too. Could high concentrations of cocaine in the air depress real estate prices? Could they be used to justify harsh police procedures based on a neighborhood and not specific evidence.
Do you think this technology is going to help or hurt in the War on Drugs?