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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    At least nine deaths have been linked to a toxic compound in Alberta

    Final preparations are being made to distribute ecstasy-testing kits in Canada specifically designed to detect a toxic compound linked to numerous deaths recently, but police aren’t supporting the move.

    Working in partnership with a private contractor, Seattle-based harm-reduction group DanceSafe and Toronto’s Trip! Project expect to have commercially available PMMA-ecstasy testing kits ready in weeks.

    The PMMA compound is considered cheaper and five times more toxic than the more common ecstasy compound MDMA.

    “This is about helping people determine what is good ecstasy, that being MDMA,” said DanceSafe President Nathan Messer.

    The group does already offer numerous testing kits designed to detect other compounds in ecstasy powder, but has run into difficulty when attempting to ship mass quantities of kits over the border.

    Once the PMMA tests are ready, Trip! will take care of domestic production and distribution, confirmed Lori Kufner.

    Police representatives consulted by Metro Thursday indicated that there was nothing to suggest the kits are illegal but they stressed that ingesting any ecstasy compound is dangerous.

    “They offer a false sense of security,” Calgary police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell said of the kits. “Are you willing to risk your life on the results of an unproven test?

    “This not about PMMA.... People have been dying of overdoses of all kinds of street drugs for years.”
    Messer said where his group would traditionally field one or two calls a month from potential Canadian customers. Lately, the phones have been ringing daily.

    He also took issue with the police stance on the testing kits.

    “So, if you are speeding and die, should we not be making cars safer?” he said.

    Published: February 10, 2012


    NOTE: Ultimately related to this story: Ecstasy laced with PMMA in Canada overdose deaths, officials find


  1. Baba Blacksheep
    I find it interesting to read that the counter arguement doesn't support these test kits. PMMA has killed a lot of fit, fun loving people and is it not sensible to allow people to test an unknown substance before consuming it?
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    ^^ I am reminded of an experience at a Grateful Dead show in 1986 or 87. At two previous venues several people had ended up hospitalized after taking "LSD" blotters. Groups from several of the LSD families where trying to track things back and find who was distributing this particular paper, and were also posting signs warning of this particular batch. As soon as one sign went up a cop pulled it down- and we confronted him. His response: "If you do drugs you deserve to die".

    While I don't think his response is representative of the view of many prohibitionists, at least not consciouslly, it is all to often the result of their laws and policies.

    Their arguement always runs along the lines of "drugs are dangerous, and providing harm reduction condones their use". In my opinion, what they are saying is a few dead bodies make a good deterrent"....

    (side note- to the best of my knowledge no hard conclusion was ever made about the bad batch of LSD, although there was a strong suspicion it was a strong batch of STP (DOM), and due to the delayed onset of effects, people overdosed. )
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