By André Picard

It’s Monday morning, a few days before the famously bacchanalian Pride weekend kicks off in the Netherlands' biggest city.

Thys Roes and his friends are planning to party, and to that end they have purchased a bag of ecstasy pills.

At least they think the little pink Hello Kitty-shaped pills are ecstasy.

So the filmmaker has made his way to Jellinek Preventie, a rehab centre in central Amsterdam that, among other things, operates a drug-checking service.

A counsellor scrapes a bit of the pill into a test tube and adds a liquid. It turns black. 

Mr. Roes smiles, because it means the drug is, in fact, ecstasy (chemical name 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA).

The counsellor also examines the pill closely and searches a computer database for a match.