The first time Adam tried Molly, he was 19. He loved it.
“I was visiting friends in Boulder for a Sound Tribe Sector 9 show at Red Rocks,” says Adam, who was raised in Chicago. (All names have been changed.) He was new to the electronic music scene, but not naïve about its reputation for drug experimentation. “I kind of expected when I went to visit that I’d be trying something new.”
Twenty minutes before the concert started, he was popping a nondescript pill. At first, he felt nothing. But as the concert continued, the colors of the stage became amplified and his feelings of self-consciousness slipped away. “I was happy. I started to just smile and dance to my own drum,” he remembers. Six years later, Adam is still “rolling”—that’s slang for the use of Molly, or MDMA, a purportedly pure form of ecstasy or 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine—two to three times a month, or every day if he’s at a music festival.