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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > Drug Crimes > “Altered Molly,” A New Synthetic Cathinone, Takes Over Florida

“Altered Molly,” A New Synthetic Cathinone, Takes Over Florida


Today, it is possible to benefit from the research of scientists from all around the world, simply by searching the Internet.  You can find thousands upon thousands of published studies with a simple Google search, some of them on websites that do not even require a subscription, and if you read them carefully enough, you can replicate their experiments, cooking up drugs in your own lab or altering the formula slightly to make new drugs.  If chemistry is not your thing but you still want state-of-the-art drugs, the Internet still has your back; you can use encrypted apps to order drugs from strangers.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, most of us are neither synthesizing drugs nor importing them; most drug cases in criminal court simply involve people who got caught after buying drugs from their neighborhood dealer.  Thanks to modern technology, the components in the drug supply change quickly, and the white powder you bought might contain all kinds of things you don’t know it contains, like fentanyl or xylazine.  Recently, Florida law enforcement has warned the public about a surge in drug cases involved a newly synthesized synthetic cathinone known as dimethylpentylone or “altered molly.”  If you are facing charges for possession of dimethylpentylone, contact a Tampa drug crime lawyer.

What Is Altered Molly, and How Is It Different From Other Synthetic Cathinones?

Cathinone is a central nervous system stimulant that occurs naturally in the leaves of the khat plant, which people in the plant’s native range of Yemen and East Africa have been chewing recreationally for centuries.  Synthetic cathinones are lab-made drugs with a similar molecular structure to cathinone.  Although cathinone is rarely found in the U.S. drug supply, since it is both illegal and impractical to grow khat here, synthetic cathinones are prevalent.  All synthetic cathinones are Schedule I controlled substances, meaning that they are always illegal and do not have any accepted medical uses.  At high doses, synthetic cathinones can cause a fatal rise in body temperature, as well as seizures and strokes.

Altered molly was first synthesized in Sweden in 2014 and first detected in the U.S. drug supply in 2021.  It is often packaged as MDMA, hence its nickname “altered molly,” but like other synthetic cathinones, its stimulant effects are more similar to those of cocaine or amphetamines.  2023 witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of drug arrests where the confiscated drugs tested positive for dimethylpentylone.  Officials in Jacksonville said that people are buying the drug in bars and nightclubs, and a Sheriff’s deputy in Martin County said that the drug is ubiquitous in the Stuart area.  Many of the people arrested for possession of altered molly are unaware of the contents of the pills and drug powders they are buying.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for possession of synthetic cathinones or other controlled substances.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.




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