Let’s get one thing clear here. Ears To The House has no specific opinion on the legalisation of drugs – we believe it should be done on a case by case basis on the grounds of science and the effects to society of doing so. But we do accept entirely that people are going to take them, regardless of whatever legal status they might have.

Which is why we believe that those people who absolutely insist on taking drugs should at least know what they’re inserting into their bodies. We have previously covered the work of The Loop UK – a drug harm reduction charity who last year revealed half the MDMA they’d tested contained no trace of MDMA.

The British government has repeatedly shown itself to be utterly clueless as to how to respond, even refusing to respond to Parliamentary Committee reports. And the response of the Home Secretary – who holds jurisdiction in England and Wales only – has effects for the rest of the UK. This is especially so in Scotland where they have more drug induced deaths than anywhere else in Europe.

Thankfully, not all countries are run by governments who are so criminally stupid. Across the Irish Sea, the Republic of Ireland is showing how things should be done – the Health Service Executive is the publicly funded healthcare system in the country. And they’ve decided to start introducing drug testing services, starting at the Electric Picnic Festival in Co Laois next month…

Detractors who argue that drugs should remain illegal frequently claim they are dangerous – and this is correct. But the main reason for this is because nobody knows what they’re really taking. So why not test and find out? The results would probably shock many into not taking what they’d paid for.

And whilst Ireland tries to put a sensible policy in place, Britain has to continue living under rotten drug policies which literally kill people. This would be farcical if the consequences weren’t so dire…