It is the latest fad among narcotic drug users in Kenya. Molly, the nickname for the sugary crystals, is a common name in Nairobi’s posh parties.
It can easily be bought around the city, especially affluent neighbourhoods like Karen, Hurligham, Lavington, Westlands and Spring Valley. Dealers even deliver to known clients’ doorsteps or in their cars and at clubs.
According to the UN World Drug Report, an estimated 10 to 25 million people use Molly at least once a year. In Kenya, it sells for between Sh3,000 to Sh 5,000 per 100 grams on the black market.
Molly, which has taken the Kenyan narcotics market by storm despite its life threatening side effects, is a brown sugar crystal substance. Hardly any house party worth its name takes place without Molly, flavoured bhang and cocaine if the attendees include expatriates, rich kids and artists.
So popular is it globally that it has been praised by celebrities like Miley Cyrus.
A popular club off Waiyaki Way, another in Upper Hill area and several city centre joints are known hotspots. It can be found in basement parkings of high end business complexes that host entertainment spots.
Another nightclub in Karen targeting white settlers and rich Kenyans is also a known Molly joint. The Westlands joint is a well-known stop-over for drug addicts to make rendezvous with their suppliers. Known for its rustic ambience, this club teems with foreign clients.
Here, all you need to purchase a dosage of Molly or cocaine is to be a known customer, be a white expatriate and/or in the company of one.
Hamisi Masa, head of Kenya’s Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU), says the use of synthetic and prescription drugs is on the rise. “We have heard of Molly but there have been no reported seizures. There is a notable use of these drugs by middle-class Kenyans,” Masa said.
It can be easily bought in parties organised by a popular event management company that is Kenya’s unofficial drug abuse get-together.
Molly is gaining the notoriety as the latest rape drug, with numerous cases of female users being sexually assaulted by their male companions, dealers or taxi drivers.
Among its street names are clarity, hug, lover’s speed, beans and love drug. “Molly makes you hyper sexually active, and excited. If there are no ladies around, male users can find themselves touching each other,” a user confided to Sunday Standard.
A dealer of North African origin, who was the main Molly supplier in Nairobi, was forced to leave the country after he was, on more than two occasions, accused of preying on his drugged female clients.
Molly has similar ingredients as MDMA which was initially developed as medication for depression and is a combination of laboratory created chemicals. Its users take it either in capsule, tablet, powder or liquid form.
A grandson of former Defence Minister Njenga Karume is one of the suspects facing charges related to the drug. Police claim they recovered drugs, among them Molly, at James Njenga Kihato’s posh Lavington house in July 2016.
Researchers list Molly’s short term effects as muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, teeth grinding, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, increased temperature and sweating and depression.
Its long time effects range from insomnia, high blood pressure, liver complications, schizophrenia, jaundice, memory loss and attention deficit.