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MDMA Laws and Penalties (Ecstasy/Molly)

MDMA or Ecstasy is regarded as one of the most widely used party drugs at a global level. The drug symbolizes rave culture, dance clubs and music and is used at festivals, house parties and night outs. The drug reacts with the blood to produce a feeling of euphoria, increase the feelings of sociability, improve communication skills, bring a feeling of inner peace and often causes mild-to-moderate hallucinations.

In the United States, ecstasy is also known as Molly. Over the course of the last 50 years, there have been numerous accounts of deaths attributed to Molly overdose. While most of the deaths have occurred at night clubs and along the electronic dance circuit (River Phoenix’s being the most popular case), the use of Molly has become widespread at home parties and for private recreational purposes as well.

Since the 1980s, the U.S. Government and several drug regulation authorities have struggled to prohibit the use of Molly. A series of laws and regulations have now been imposed across the United States, which are commonly referred to as the MDMA Laws and Penalties, as follows:

General Ruling

MDMA is classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States. Along with LSD, heroin and cannabis, Molly does not offer any acceptable medical benefits and, therefore, cannot be used in medical treatment. In 2001, the U.S. Government enacted harsh laws and penalties for the supply of ecstasy/molly:

  • A person found guilty of manufacturing and/or distributing 50 grams or more of MDMA may be sentenced to a prison term of not less than 10 years and/or fines of not less than $4 million and $10 million for individuals and non-individuals respectively

  • If the distribution of the drug has resulted in a death or serious injury, the prison term may extend to 20 years and the penalties may be revised to $8 million and $20 million for individuals and non-individuals respectively

  • Possession of 5 grams or more of MDMA can result in an imprisonment of 5 years to 40 years for the individual

  • Where the possession of MDMA results in a serious injury or death due to the drug, the prison term may exceed 20 years and a fine of $2 million will be paid by the possessor being an individual or $5 million by the possessor being any person other than an individual.

State Ruling

Just as the drug is banned by the federal laws, the states implement stringent regulations that prohibit the use of MDMA. This applies to both color-coated ecstasy pills, as well as powdered MDMA Molly. Some of the most popular state rulings are as follows:

  • Florida: Possession of MDMA constitutes a “possession of unlawful chemical” offence and carries a conviction of up to 15 years jail time on charges of second-degree felony

  • New Jersey: First ecstasy possession offence carries a six-month jail sentence. Subsequent ecstasy possession offence can lead to up to 18 months in jail

  • Arizona: Possession of MDMA means possession of a “Dangerous Drug” and carries up to 6 months in jail on a Class 1 misdemeanor

  • Massachusetts: The state considers MDMA as a Class B Controlled Substance that carries up to 1 year imprisonment for the first-time possession offense

  • California: For all parts of the Bay Area, possession of any drug (except marijuana) constitutes a felony. Probation and a brief jail time can be expected.

Manufacture, distribution and possession of MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy) in any state in the United States is a criminal offense. Contact Premier Federal Criminal Defenders today if you or your loved one have been convicted on charges of drug possession and work out all your options.

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