[The Times] Testing festival drugs for safety can save lives

I have been going to festivals for decades, both as a fan and a father. At best they can be blissful; a fusion of sun, fun, music and friends that you want to last for ever. At worst they are miserable; sheltering from storms in seas of mud, while wishing it was time to head home. One thing unites them: wide use of drugs such as alcohol, cannabis, cocaine and Ecstasy.

Since drugs can be dangerous, this leads to some casualties. I once saw a teenage girl fall in a fire at dawn, so off her head she seemed oblivious to serious burns as she was stretchered off to hospital. There are more wearily routine sights of drunks being sick or violent. And inevitably, there have been deaths.

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