Drug-related overdoses and deaths related to MDMA, better known as "molly," seem to be reported in the dance scene more increasingly these days, news outlets have been quick to blame this drug, and a combination of factors has led to mainstream festivals becoming battlegrounds for politics, drugs, and drug enforcement. What these mainstream media outlets fail to mention is that molly isn't the direct cause of a large quantity of these overdoses. Cutting agents are.
Last year, two young adults died at Electric Zoo after taking what they thought to be MDMA. While the toxicology reports blamed MDMA for these two unfortunate deaths, we can't help but wonder whether or not those reports also mentioned cutting agents. We also paid attention as psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland spoke to the New York Times after Electric Zoo's cancellation, saying "the drug itself is not a cause of death," but noting that "the rave model makes it less safe."
Back in April, Electric Zoo spoke on their heightened safety measures for this year's festival, which was said to including watching an anti-drug PSA as a requirement to get wristbands to enter the event. Recently, the above video hit the Internets, depicting one reckless drug user rubbing MDMA on his gums (I thought people did numbies with cocaine, but whatever), then bugging the fuck out, sweating profusely, and scaring his female companion before the background fades to a light at the end of the tunnel. What wasn't covered win this video ere the acquisition of the drug (and why you should never buy drugs from a stranger), quantity ingested (and why you shouldn't take five capsules), and testing the drug to make sure it hasn't been cut with chemicals that increase your chances of injury or death.
This isn't to say "pure molly is okay," but the failure to educate kids that are going to sidestep parental advice and experiment anyways on how to test it, and how their risk of hospitalization exponentially increases with each additional dose seems reckless. Alcohol poisoning should also be a serious concern (remember that Avicii show in Toronto, or that Hardwell show in Edinburgh), as well as drunk driving after these shows are over. Are music festivals going to stop selling alcohol so users can truly experience what they paid for? Probably not.
We're curious what the results will be from festivals with a zero tolerance drug policy. Companies like DanceSafe and Bunk Police exist for those that are going to experiment with the drug, and while this service is vital for those that wish to roll the dice with their bodies, these organizations are generally banned at mainstream festivals (where some concertgoers are bound to buy drugs from a stranger or take drugs given to them by a friend) because they are seen as advocates for drug use.
All said, we commend Electric Zoo for taking a strong stance and sending a message. We applaud the fact that this video is being picked up by tons of news and dance music sites. We're grateful that they had the balls to address this issue and take action, and we're hopeful that this video sparks discussion so those that decide to experiment with drugs take the proper precautions to party a little safer. We can't say that we're surprised that they opted to disable YouTube comments on this one, though.