Missourians Freak Out Over Cheeky Fireworks Billboard (Which May Be Driving Up Local Meth Use!)

Screenshot/KSDKScreenshot/KSDKA billboard in Jefferson County, Missouri, is stirring up local outrage by obliquely referencing the drug Molly. The Highway 30 ad for Molly Brown's Fireworks stand reads in big block letters: MOLLY AHEAD. The fine print between these words says "Black Market." 

It seems pretty obvious that this is a play on words, designed to draw maximum eyeballs and pique passersby's interest—as good advertising does. But local busybodies are concerned that the billboard "sends mixed messages" and helps normalize the idea of drug use. 

"The unfortunate thing about that is many kids will see that, they'll know the relation to the drug Molly and it just builds the idea that this drug is no big deal, that it's ok to take, that it's something we can joke about," Jared Opsal, a spokesman for the St. Louis branch of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, told Missouri news station KSDK.  

Opsal's comment is, amazingly, one of the less insane ones in KSDK's story. The local news account quickly escalates from cheeky fireworks-stand billboard to kids on Molly getting dehydrated to kids are dying to oh my god this billboard could fuel the local heroin and meth epidemics. Ahem: 

Some Molly users have even died.

Fenton and the surrounding communities have been battling drug epidemics for years. It started with methamphetamines. More recently heroin has joined the mix. Now people are concerned the sign may lead to more problems.

"When I see Molly black market, to me that sounds like drugs," said Michele Van Tuyl of the Rockwood Drug Free Coalition.

"You put the fireworks with the drug insinuation and it sounds like a big huge party, you know?" 

A big huge party where everybody gets together and insinuates about drugs—chilling. 

For its part, the company that owns Molly Brown's is denying any insinuation was intended. "Molly's Ahead has absolutely nothing to do with a drug called molly," spokeswoman Anita Kell told a concerned community member in an email. She said she didn't even know molly was a drug and that Black Market is a brand of fireworks. 

I don't buy Kell's explanation—she conveniently adds the possessive in all of her Molly mentions, which is not what the billboard actually says. But it's probably a good strategy with this crowd. 

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  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Perhaps very unAmerican, but I do not understand the fascination with fireworks.

  • Robert||

    Wen celebrate our mastery over fire. All the other animals were afraid of fire and ran away from it, but we overcame our fear long enough to turn fire into our friend.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    I think you lose both your man card AND your citizenship for that one. Please report to the nearest gender reassignment/deportation facility.

  • The Other Kevin||

    So do fireworks kill more teenagers than molly each year? Wait, don't answer that...

  • PD Scott||

    And swimming pools? Don't ask.

    "There's a new, dangerous fad that teens are trying - underwater fireworks. And it could get your child seriously injured or even killed."

  • PD Scott||

    PIQUE interest, not peak interest.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    ! thanks.

  • Jensen||

  • Andrew S.||

    You dismiss their concerns too easily. I looked at this billboard for too long, overdosed and died. :(

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I literally lol'd

  • Trouser-Pod||

    So, who's the scum in this particular article; the fireworks pushers, or the pearl-clutchers?

  • Shirley Knott||

    The pearl-clutchers. It's always the pearl-clutchers.

  • Numeromancer||

    It's time to ban caffeine. For the children.

  • John||

    The BBC refused to play The Beatles song Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite because it contained the lyrics And of course Henry The Horse dances the waltz! Horse apparently was thought to be slang for heroin. The fact that the song was written about a vintage circus poster Lennon had bought meant nothing. The ruling nannies decided that any reference to a horse, must be about heroin.

  • RishJoMo||

    lol you have GOT to be kidding me dude.


  • widget||

    The Unsinkable Molly Brown.


    Not a random name, FYI, Elizabeth. Only 1 left in stock.

  • widget||

    I apologize, you did not think the fist name was random. But I think you're wrong on drug reference nonetheless. It's worse.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I used to live right next to Molly Browns.

    that be some "rural" missouri there.

  • CE||

    Where was the outrage when Wall Drug was trying to lure every RV-driving tourist in a 300 mile radius to visit their den of iniquity?

  • CE||

    At least it wasn't Molly Ivins.


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