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E Testing Kits Remain Legal in UK

Guidance for Testing Pills

Please note. Ecstasy is illegal worldwide and the laws relating to testing vary from place to place. It could well be that where you live doing this would be illegal. Please check your local laws.

To test a pill, you will need:

  • The pill test kit (testing liquid - "marquis reagent")
  • A white plastic or enamel dish (not a metal, painted or paper surface). A white plastic container such as a lid is best.
  • A good white light.
  • A small knife, blade or even a key.
If the pill is not yours and you don't want to risk being in possession, ask the owner to scrape a small amount off the pill into your test dish and to place the dish and sample where you can see it clearly.

If it's your pill of course, do it yourself!

Have a look at the pill and make a note of what it looks like - the shape, has it got a split mark on one side? - the colour - how well made it looks (hard or crumbly). What's it called?

Add a couple of drops of reagent, making sure you cover the sample. This destroys the sample so you are no longer in possession.

Watch the reaction carefully. There should be a colour change from a clear liquid to jet black with a hint of blue developing after about a minute, but the exact colour change is important and varies with the content and maybe even the strength of the pill. Its important to note how quickly the reaction sets in (do you have to wait for a few seconds before anything happens?) and how the colours develop (does it start a weak colour and then become dark / how strong is the colour?).

Try and match the colour change you see to the colour chart and make a best guess of what you think the pill contains, but please report the actual colour change as clearly as you can. If nothing happens, please report that, it means you definitely have a duff pill (so it's not an E - don't take it!).

It's worth knowing that the reagent will produce colour changes with all sorts of things, in particular many substances seem to produce a weak "orange juice" colour and even paper gives a black colour change, but again it is weak. A genuine reaction produces a very strong change. This is why it's important to use a plastic or enamel dish, which must be white.

Note that seeing, remembering and reporting colours is difficult and takes some practice. It also depends on the type of light you do the test under. These tests are best done in daylight or white florescent light. Please report if the light was not good.

Health and safety warning! The Marquis reagent contains an acid, so don't touch it or get it in your eyes. If you do come into contact with it wash with lots of water.

Don't forget to wash your testing dish with lots of water, if only so as not to contaminate your next test!