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The prestigious Kings's College in London is looking for volunteers to snort cocaine as part of a clinical trial into the effects of the drug.

And it has targeted students as a potential group from which to find the volunteers.

The university sent an email to hundreds of students last week seeking "healthy male volunteers, 25-40 years of age, to take part in a clinical study involving nasal administration of cocaine", the Daily Mail newspaper reported.

The university wants to better understand how the Class A drug effects the body, calling it an 'important scientific study'.

The college, which has 10 Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni and current and former faculty, says the clincal trial is an "important scientific study".

The college has ruled out students who use the drug recreationally and those studying medicine or dentistry, the Daily Mail reported.

The email says: "After cocaine administration, repeated biological samples (blood, urine, hair, sweat, oral fluid) will be taken to compare and investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body."

Cocaine is the second most popular drug in Britain after cannbis. About 700,000 people in Britain took cocaine last year.