“Molly” – a nickname derived from “molecule” – is a highly addictive synthetic drug that has burst onto the U.S. club scene and is being abused mostly by younger people. Boston residents will recall four young deaths from Molly overdoses in city music venues in the summer of 2013.

Unfortunately, what is called Molly could be anything at all, so ingestion is a real health risk. Molly comes in pill, powder, capsule or liquid form, and usually contains Methylone or MDMA, very similar compounds. MDMA is active ingredient in the illegal drug Ecstasy. Molly may also contain TFMPP, a substance with similar effects.

The danger lies in that there is no way for a user to know exactly what is in the Molly he or she takes, with much being produced in other countries or in domestic home laboratories. A pill or other substance labeled as “Molly” could have Methylone, MDMA or TFMPP, or any combination of these. Sometimes those drugs are mixed with other substances like the synthetic drugs known as “bath salts,” methamphetamine, amphetamines, antidepressants, nitrogen, baking powder and more, including poisonous substances from foreign labs. Molly is sometimes also sold as “plant food.”

Molly is popular because it is inexpensive and can cause euphoric moods. However, harmful symptoms reported by Molly users include:

  • Dizziness.
  • Severe dehydration.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Insomnia.
  • Involuntary movement and seizures.
  • Elevated blood pressure.
  • Elevated body temperature.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Liver, kidney or heart failure.
  • Brain damage.
  • Coma.
  • Death.
  • And more.

Criminal penalties

Common Molly ingredients are illegal under both federal and Massachusetts laws. For example, MDMA is federally classified as a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous, and as a Class B controlled substance under Massachusetts statute. A conviction for making, distributing or possessing Molly could bring years in prison, steep fines or both.

Penalties may be worse if the drug crime happened in a school zone or involves distribution or intent to distribute to anyone under 18, or for second or subsequent offenses.

In addition to prison, a criminal record from a drug crime can have negative effects on future job, rental and loan prospects; as well as on the individual’s professional and personal reputation.

Find experienced legal counsel

If you find yourself under investigation for, arrested for or charged with a state or federal drug crime related to Molly, MDMA or ecstasy in Massachusetts, it is in your best interest considering the severity of potential penalties to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable Boston-area criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will fight for your rights and see that you are treated fairly by law enforcement, in negotiations, and at trial and sentencing, depending on the circumstances.