Klink wants investigation into mushrooms

28th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

28 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – A majority in Parliament wants a ban on the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Public Health Minister Ab Klink has instructed the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to conduct a new study into these “magic mushrooms.” He will wait for the results of this study before making a decision with regard to Parliament’s wishes.

28 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – A majority in Parliament wants a ban on the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Public Health Minister Ab Klink has instructed the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to conduct a new study into these “magic mushrooms.” He will wait for the results of this study before making a decision with regard to Parliament’s wishes.

Almost all the parties are urging that the policy be tightened up after the death of a 17-year-old French girl last week. She reportedly committed suicide while under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The sale of dried mushrooms containing hallucinogens is a crime in the Netherlands since they are regarded as hard drugs. Fresh mushrooms, which contain a relatively low concentration of the hallucinogens, are not classified as banned substances. They can be purchased from drug paraphernalia shops – so-called smartshops -  and other locations.

The Liberal VVD wants these fresh mushrooms to be added to the list of hard drugs. “Sale of these mushrooms must stop, because you know they are being dried after purchase,” says VVD MP Fred Teeven. He says this “eco drug” has similar effects to LSD. “If it is put on the list of hard drugs, sale of it will be prohibited, just like with cocaine and heroin.”

Christian democrats CDA also want to ban the sale of fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms but want to leave it to experts to determine whether they should be classed as soft or hard drugs.

The party has prepared a bill to introduce a permit system for smartshops and other shops that sell fresh mushrooms. “We want a similar system to the one in place for coffeeshops (hash cafes) at the moment,” says MP Cisca Joldersma. “Then an age limit can be set and conditions imposed on the owners. If they do not meet the requirements the shop can be closed down.”

The Socialist party SP also wants a minimum age limit. “A child of five can now walk into a drug paraphernalia shop and buy fresh mushrooms. That shouldn’t be the case. But we have to be careful not to base policies on a single incident like this. We don’t want to declare all hallucinogenic mushrooms illegal because of one event.”

The Labour party PvdA wants to get rid of the distinction between dried and fresh mushrooms. “It is hard to monitor the situation if you make a distinction,” says MP Bert Bouwmeester.

The PvdA wants to wait on making a proposal for tighter legislation until Hirsch Ballin comes with an answer on the situation.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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