Jean Barker

A drug called Molly

2013-09-13 07:47

Jean Barker

There's a new drug craze in the USA, and that craze is Molly, a short, cute name for "molecular". Of course, it's a close cousin of Ecstasy or MDMA (aka "Mandy"), as are the effects (happiness and dancing) and the down sides (dehydration, over-hydration, and gloomy Tuesdays the week after.)

So actually, I shouldn't say there's a new drug craze - not really. There's really just a new media craze. Because Molly is essentially MDMA with a new name, in powdered form, and a bit less speedy.

Molly is just drug rebranding - of the organic kind that results in spontaneous crowd-marketing by happy customers who would rather not be arrested keeping the product fresh and generating media buzz. The fact that drugs being illegal actually helps to market them has to be one of the funnier things about the war on drugs. It's been happening since the beginning of time, or at least since the 1960s. Your grandma probably thought "Sweet Mary Jane" was a girl, but we all know she was wrong.

Like Mary Jane, Molly has quickly made its way into Song Lyrics, with Miley Cyrus, TygaVevo and Rihanna delivering what can only be called musical sales pitches.

Blue kisses, Mercedes, disco biscuits...

Just a few previously cute names for MDMA variants include: "Adam (rearrange the letters)", clarity (haha), disco biscuits, hug drug, blue kisses, lover's speed, Mercedes, white dove... And every street drug has its share of names that lend it street cred, the thrill of the illicit that is half its lure, that help it build a community around itself and protect itself. Someone using an outdated name is probably a cop. (Or a columnist. For all I know, Molly's already old hat, and it's now called "hot cakes" or something.)

What is relatively new about Molly is that is one of many small-volume, relatively profitable narcotics like this are now being dealt via websites such as the hard to find and navigate "silk road" - as well as on Chinese setups, where still more cute names are proliferating to fool the law.

You'd think the legal drug market would be taking notes on this. I know the anti-depressant "Zoloft" would be a lot more popular if it were called "joyloft". Every time I hear the word "Zoloft", I picture a giant metal-clad monster who breathes like Darth Vader, and whose armour hides a body made of pure hellfire. And this is a medication that's meant to treat depression!

Drugs are bad

As usual, law-enforcement and users disagree regarding drugs.

Users are enthusiastic about Molly! A young girl interviewed by music station KCRW said she dug Molly because the powder was so easy to conceal - in your panties or your hair or like, wherever. A dancing boy interviewed said it made the music at festivals sound better (being hit over the head with a sofa would have the same effect, but you can't dance to a lawnmower while concussed, so Molly is better).

Meanwhile, law enforcement officers, when asked about a "bad batch" circulating declared soberly: "There is no good batch".

I'm sorry to tell you this, Sir Cop, but thousands of users disagree. And though they may kid themselves that it's not addictive, anything that makes them feel that good is likely to fly out the drug dealer's window again and again, until everybody taking it grows up, sobers up, gets a job and stops dressing in bikinis - or literally dies of happiness, as four users recently did by overdosing at the Electric Zoo Festival on Labour Day weekend.

- Jean is a screenwriting/directing dual MFA student in California, USA. She tweets as @jeanbarker and blogs pictures of signs and more, here. She will be back.

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