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Ecstasy testing kits

The Green Party policy includes that the testing of pills should be allowed in Britain.

On Saturday 13th December 1997, the Green Party Drugs Group held a press conference at which Howard Marks and myself were asked to speak, followed by public testing of pills on a trailer parked outside The Fridge where punters were queuing to get into the gay "Love Muscle" night.

The testing was similar to that in Holland: the reagent Marquis was used to perform an unreliable but immediate test, and the pill was compared to those already tested on my site. Measurements were taken with a micrometer.

In fact, only about half a dozen people offered pills for testing, probably because reporters, press photographers and TV cameras pounced on them. But this was more of a demo than a service, and showed that it can be done in Britain.

The police were informed in advance and replied that anyone returning a pill after testing could be arrested for 'supply'. But, they kept away, even though this took place in high profile on one of the most policed streets in Britain.

The Green Party want to encourage others to do testing, and are offering test kits.

The Basic Kit consists of the Marquis reagent only. This is a clear liquid: a drop is put on a white saucer and a small scraping of a pill is dropped onto it. Colour then appears according to whether the contents is amphetamine, MDMA-type drug or an opiate. In Holland, experienced users say they can tell just what is in a tablet, but false positives are common and the only certain information provided is when no colour appears: the pill is a dud!

Marquis contains a strong acid which can burn, so has to be used and disposed of with great care.

The Advanced Kit also contains a micrometer. This allows the pill to be accurately measured, so that it can be compared with pills already tested on this site. There is less chance of a pill being a lookalike if the precise dimensions match.

To buy a kit, send £15* (includes postage and packing) for the Basic kit or £30* for the Advanced kit with cheque or PO made out to:

Green Party Drugs Group
1a Waterlow Road
London N19 5NJ

(phone 0171 737 0100)

*UK only index
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