Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guess I'm going to Holland this month... Magic Mushrooms banned

The Dutch government is to ban the cultivation and sale of fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms from December 1. The sale of dry mushrooms is already prohibited.

Parliament called for a ban last year after the death of a 17-year-old French tourist who is believed to have eaten so-called magic mushrooms before she jumped off a bridge in Amsterdam. (see Bill Hicks)

According to Amsterdam health service figures, ambulances were called out 149 times last year to deal with people who had taken hallucinogenic mushrooms. Most incidents involved young tourists, especially from Italy and Britain, who often come to Amsterdam because of its reputation for easily available drugs.

'Magic' mushrooms are sold at 180 so-called smart shops in the Netherlands. Paul van Oyen of the association which represents these shops, expects half of them will have to close down because of the ban. "There are 40 smart shops in the centre of Amsterdam that cause problems and the entire branch is the victim," Van Oyen said.

In a statement last year the Dutch health ministry said the "unpredictable character of mushrooms" was the deciding factor for the outright ban. "Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been proved to cause dangerous results, sometimes with fatal results," a ministry spokesperson said. Health minister Ab Klink (Christian Democrats) has to implement a ban from next month.

The ban comes at a time of political and social debate on the Dutch policy of tolerating soft drugs such as cannabis and mushrooms. This weekend the parliamentary leader of the Christian Democrats Pieter van Geel called for a complete ban on cafes where marijuana is sold.

Another article: Shop owners have claimed the ban will result in hundreds of jobs being lost and are planning protest marches.

Paul Van den Berg, who works in one of the shops that sells the mushrooms, described that ban as "a disgrace". He said: "It's all the fault of tourists, especially the Brits. They misuse alcohol at home and come over here to do the same with hash and the so called 'magic mushrooms'."

He said that the mushrooms were intended for connoisseurs who know how to eat them properly and in the correct quantity, producing a euphoric state with the odd "pleasant hallucination".

Understatement, this really sucks. No word yet on when alcohol, sharp objects, slippery floors, cars, politicians, etc will be banned...

6 comments:

Jess said...

Mushrooms were okay in Japan for a long time till 2002, when they were banned. Now young men dip cigerettes in paint thinner to get high. Cause it's legal. The world is fucked up.

Auberon Barnable said...

Once again consciousness expansion is outlawed in the name of "keeping us safe". If as H.G. Wells said "history is a race between education and catastrophe" guess which side is winning?

There is no government which is not an enemy of its citizens. But what to do?

J'onn said...

If these Brits were more clued up on picking their own shrooms, they'd know that there's plenty to be had out in the countryside not far from their own homes at this time of year. That's where I was this afternoon and I came home with a nice little haul.

I'm sorry that a few have to spoil the party for the many, paricularly when they're guests in other peoples' countries - shame on them.

Michael Skaggs said...

Wow man,

WTF is right, I guess the CIA/Governments don't want any competition for their "illegal" hard drugs huh? Bastards.

So more squeeze on jobs, economies, and now creating protest marches. I agree with Jess, this world is fucked up.

Auberon Barnable said...

michael:

I don't think they're too worried about competition. Psychoactive substances are the opposite of addictive for most people. I get up the nerve about 4 times a year. My half pound of salvia extract will probably trickle its way down to my great-grand children.

The thing governments, institutions, etc. have against them is they cause people to question the fundamental values on which those systems are based. They don't want people asking the hard questions for which they have no answer, and their silence is deafening.

dedroidify said...

Yup, not addictive, but still Michael has a good point about drug tourism in Holland AB.

They don't just make one question the corrupt systems, they can make one question their notions of reality itself.

Though on the other hand, I've talked to around ten people who didn't know the potential of entheogens and took them, and they got very little out of it besides some laughs, hallucinations and crazy stories. When I told someone about the potential, the next time he took them he saw temples and other religious imagery for the first time. Which was the initial stepping stone to bigger things for me too.

It's a crying shame they're made illegal, especially since some other entheogens like Salvia etc, will still be available in the smart shops that can remain open...