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Molly: Friend or Foe?

I’ll spare you the cliché line “Have you met Molly?” and cut to the chase. “Molly” refers to the powder or crystal form of MDMA, a chemical used to make Ecstasy. But unlike its infamous cousin “X,” Molly is thought to be pure, meaning it is devoid of additives such as methamphetamine and caffeine. Perhaps it is this belief that has contributed to the dramatic rise in its use as a recreational drug.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

A recent New York Times article investigated the recent popularity of Molly, attributing its increased presence in today’s party scene to factors including Electronic Dance Music (EDM) music festivals and the glorification of the drug in the celebrity world.

According to the article, the National Drug Abuse Warning Network reports that the number of MDMA-related emergency room visits has doubled since 2004. Moreover, United States Customs and Border Protection reports that confiscations of MDMA have increased from 186 in 2008 to 2,670 in 2012. Numbers aside, Molly is clearly becoming glorified in pop culture, appearing in the music of huge hip-hop artists like Kanye West and Nicki Minaj. So what exactly does this drug entail?


MDMA has a reputation for inducing feelings of euphoria, closeness with others and diminished anxiety. No wonder Molly is getting invited to all the parties; she’s not smelly and immature like Mary Jane and she’s not a crazy psycho like some of the more intense options. She’s just a whole bunch of fun — for a limited amount of time.

But Molly takes her time. Users don’t start feeling groovy until about 45 minutes after popping the pill — some choose to snort the drug for a more immediate high — and the high lasts about three to five hours, after which feelings of depression and fatigue often take over.

Molly causes the brain to release an unnatural amount of serotonin, resulting in chipper and euphoric feelings. But unfortunately, serotonin cannot magically replenish itself at the rapid rate it is depleted, which explains the feelings of crappiness even days after its use.

A perfect analogy is the bank account of a humble A&S graduate. You can’t expect to impulsively spend all your savings one day and be fine for the rest of the year. It’s going to catch up with you at some point. Speaking of bank accounts, the New York Times placed a price tag from $20 to $50 per dose on the drug.

But does high price correlate directly with high quality? What people fail to understand is that since MDMA is an illegal drug, its sale and distribution is entirely unregulated. It’s not like buying Claritin D- Non Drowsy where the ingredients are meticulously listed. There is no way of knowing whether someone is really selling pure MDMA, or an imitation drug laced with all sorts of dangerous hocus pocus.

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However, what happened to the natural way to experience and embrace our feelings? Is it okay to cry just for the sake of it? Can’t we just think about how profound it is to be living without having to get high?

Maybe the unfortunate truth is that people don’t always know how to be themselves above the influence, which is why they feel the need to go under. Maybe humans are too human to be natural. A monkey throws a banana while a man hides behind chemicals.

(Note: Gavel Media does not condone drug use of any kind.)

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