FENTON, Mo. - Appalling, misplaced and tasteless. They're all words being used to describe a Jefferson County billboard.
The sign reads "Molly Ahead" in bold red letters on a white background. The words Black Market are printed in smaller black letters. The billboard stands beside Highway 30 between Fenton and High Ridge and it's an advertisement for a Molly Brown's fireworks stand.
But some say its wording is a problem.
"Molly is another name for a drug that's been around for quite a while. It's another name for ecstasy or MDMA," said Jared Opsal, spokesman for the St. Louis branch of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. "It's mostly targeted at younger people and it can get to a point where they can become dehydrated, they can have a heat stroke, they can even have a heart attack."
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.
Van Tuyl has a teenage son who loves fireworks. She's concerned the sign sends mixed messages.
"You put the fireworks with the drug insinuation and it sounds like a big huge party, you know? And that's not a party I want him to be a part of," she said.
"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," said Opsal.
Van Tuyl doesn't want the sign taken down, but she'd like to see it changed.
"It's got to show that it has to do with fireworks because of the area that it's in and because it's so bold," she said.
Patriot Sales, the company that owns Molly Brown's Fireworks did not respond to NewsChannel 5's request for comment. But a representative named Anita Kell replied to an email from a concerned community member. Kell wrote:
"We have been using "Molly" for years. Molly's Amish Furniture and Gifts is an example. Molly's Ahead has absolutely nothing to do with a drug called molly. In fact, I did not even know there is such a drug. Black Market is a brand of fireworks as is Caliber and The Works. The Molly's Ahead sign has been up every year. Thank you for your concern, however, rest assured it has everything to do with our brand and our company and nothing to do with drugs."