Filling in the blanks with

The blue pill? The red pill? Why limit yourself, writes Ludwig Schmidt

Pillreports is an ecstasy test results database. According to its website, it is a “global database of ‘ecstasy’ pills based on both subjective user reports and scientific analysis.”
The site states: “‘Ecstasy’ is traditionally the name for MDMA based pills, however Pillreports also includes closely related substances such as MDA, MDEA, MBDB. Pills sold as ecstasy often include other, potentially more dangerous, substances such as methamphetamine, ketamine and PMA.

“By identifying dangerous adulterants, Pillreports performs a vital harm reduction service that can prevent many of the problems associated with
‘ecstasy’ use before they happen. Prevention is always better than cure, as you cannot cure death.”

The site has over 30,000 reports from all around the world. Ecstasy pills can be searched by name, logo, colour, region, and/or by a minimum ‘quality’ rating. If you’re lucky, you’ll find your pill and will be lead to a user-generated report that includes detailed information such as the dimensions, the texture, the fortitude of the edges – e.g. ‘bit worn’ (no, seriously) – and a review of the drug based on consumption. Reports often include an MDMA rating based on a chemical test. Dark purple/black indicates a high MDMA level. A quick browse of the Australian subsection of the site confirms the popular theory that Australia has shitty quality ecstasy.
The user write-ups are very detailed and include a breakdown of the writer’s experience taking the drug/s hour by hour. Reports often include how long it took the user to notice the effects of the pill, how long the effects lasted, whether the pill was speed or MDMA-heavy, etc.

Contrary to popular belief, most ecstasy pills don’t actually include MDMA. Because of the difficulty of acquiring MDMA, pill-makers often use different chemicals that have similar effects. The write-ups on Pillreports instead list the suspected contents of the pill (MDMA, MDA, etc.)

Below the report is a comments section in which other users respond to the report and offer up their own experience taking the pill. Extremely positive reviews will be flagged by other users in the comments section as written by a dealer in order to increase demand for their product. This is unless there is substantive evidence to the contrary (high number of positive reviews). As there are no in-built measures to prevent people from using the site this way, the larger Pillreports community is highly suspicious of well-reviewed pills. It takes some guesswork, but between the review and the comments you should be able to work out whether you’re getting the real deal or being led on.

From personal experience, I’ve never failed to find a pill I’ve enquired about on the site and have found the reports extremely accurate. This is a testament to the dedicated wider Pillreports community who are collaboratively filling in some of the massive blanks surrounding ecstasy consumption and ecstasy markets.

The site is populated by literally thousands of ecstasy enthusiasts. Pillreports is arguably one of the most successful examples of the power of collaborative wisdom (after Wikipedia), and in the opinion of the writer, a genuine peek into the future.

Whatever your view on ecstasy consumption (and Pillreports allegedly has none: “Note: exists as a harm reduction tool and does not condemn or condone ecstasy use” is written at the top of their homepage), only the most conservative of mindsets would deny that more information on a drug frequently associated with overdoses and rat poison is a bad thing. Hopefully, Pillreports will continue to grow and more sites like it will emerge in the future, debunking the many myths that surround illicit substances and forcing governments to finally embrace progressive drug reform.