Almost 1,200 capsules of the popular Molly’s Plant Food, used as a recreational drug by young people, were confiscated Friday from convenience stores by sheriff’s Narcotics detectives, a supervisor said Tuesday.
Most of the store employees in Rutherford County and its cities voluntarily turned over the product after viewing and reading media coverage about Molly’s Plant Food, said Narcotics Lt. Egon Grissom.
Employees said customers asked for the product selling for $8 to $12 a capsule “all the time,” Grissom said. “It’s very popular.”
Molly’s Plant Food was taken off the shelves beginning Friday after a court order sought by state Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson and Attorney General Bob Cooper. A press release from Cooper’s office stated Molly’s Plant Food is a substance described on the Internet for its “mind-altering qualities when taken orally. The product has been known to cause severe physical and psychological side effects and is quickly spreading throughout the country as a popular but dangerous recreational drug.”
Grissom said a mother contacted him recently about her son’s use of Molly’s Plant Food. She reported the product apparently affected his mental state and caused him to lose 20 pounds in two weeks. Other parents have called him about their concerns.
“It’s causing irreparable damage to these young adults,” Grissom said.
The state attorney general’s press release reported the company’s web site contains a disclaimer stating the product is “not intended for human consumption.” But other Internet chat rooms and websites refer to the product as “legal Ecstasy.” The product contains mephedrone, a substance known to product a feeling similar to Ecstasy and cocaine.
Grissom said the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association notified Sheriff Robert Arnold Friday, asking the sheriff’s office to participate in the confiscation. Grissom and several narcotics detectives approached about 80 percent of the convenience stores and removed Molly’s Plant Food. They plan to check more stores this week.
Stores who have not been visited are asked to call the Narcotics Division at 895-3609 to get a detective to remove the product. The stores will not face repercussions if they voluntarily turn over the product.
Grissom questioned the marketing of Molly’s Plant Food being in capsule form and suggesting adults take the capsule with a large glass of water.
“I don’t buy my plant fertilizer in a capsule form and definitely not for $8,” Grissom said.