“It was a group of about 12 people at someone’s house and we were all just celebrating,” Anna recalled. “Somebody had it and, and you know, it was a pretty electronic music kind of crowd.” Molly, an illegal stimulant frequently sold in pill form, has become prominent in the electronic music scene over the past decade, said Anna, 26, who did not want to give her full name because she is in school and “counseling people to be healthy.” Molly is the street name for a drug that is pushed as the pure powder form of a banned substance known as MDMA, the main chemical in ecstasy. In the last five years, Molly has made its way into popular culture, helped by references to it made by entertainers such as Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West. The drug’s dangers became more clear after a rash of overdoses and four deaths this summer, including two at a huge annual electronic music festival in New York City. The parties of the late 1980s and early ’90s saw the heyday of ecstasy, but its popularity began to wane a decade ago after a number of deaths and hospitalizations. That’s when Molly made her way onto the scene. Over the last few years, drugs sold under that name have “flooded” the market, said Rusty Payne, a spokesman with the Drug Enforcement Administration. In some states, there has been a 100-fold increase – the combined number of arrests, seizures, emergency room mentions and overdoses – between 2009 and 2012, according to DEA figures. The drug is accessible and marketed to recreational drug users who believe it to be less dangerous than its predecessor, which was often cut with other substances, from Ritalin to LSD. Like ecstasy, Molly is said to give a lengthy, euphoric high with slight hallucinogenic properties. In reality, however, the promised pure MDMA experience “doesn’t exist,” said Payne.
“This is creating difficulties for the department to perform the functions necessary to support its litigation efforts,” the department said in a court filing. Merging companies usually oppose delays because they make it harder to hold deals together. So it was good news for the airlines when Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly turned down the request in an order issued on Tuesday. A lawyer for the airlines expected the trial to begin as scheduled in late November. “From what the judge said in there, and I think everybody heard, we’re going to trial on November 25,” Richard Parker said after a pretrial hearing. “We are planning on a November 25 trial date.” Parker said a settlement resolving the fight was still possible. “We are interested in a reasonable settlement in this case,” he added. Any settlement would mean asset sales, which in turn would require approval from the judge overseeing American’s emergence from bankruptcy. TEXAS SECURES CONCESSIONS Under the agreement announced on Tuesday, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport would remain a hub for the combined carrier, whose headquarters would be in Texas. Almost two dozen small Texas airports would continue to get daily service, the Texas attorney general’s office said. Antitrust experts said that losing Texas from the suit was unlikely to affect the Justice Department’s ability to litigate to stop the deal. “The case will proceed without Texas and it will have no impact on the government without the state. I don’t think it will matter one way or another,” said Jonathan Lewis, an antitrust expert with Baker Hostetler.