More 'shrooms sold last year
The sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms rose dramatically last year.1 February 2008
THE HAGUE – The sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms rose dramatically last year. The National Association of Smartshops (VLOS) reports that the sales of magic mushrooms increased 20 percent.
The association attributes this to the commotion that arose last year after a French girl jumped from a bridge after taking mushrooms. VLOS board member Guy Boels says that preliminary figures indicate that the number of incidents after taking mushrooms rose only slightly last year in Amsterdam.
The capital is the centre for the trade in mushrooms.
Public Health Minister Ab Klink and Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin decided last year to ban the cultivation and sale of fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms have long been banned under narcotics legislation.
Boels says the number of incidents in Amsterdam actually declined last year in relative terms, taking the increased sales figures into account. The owners of smartshops, shops that sell mushrooms and drug paraphernalia, are using this argument to support their case against a ban.
They would rather see better regulation on the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms, by only allowing sales in specialised shops for instance.
They also support Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen's proposal to institute a 3-day waiting period before a purchaser can pick up the mushrooms.
The idea is to make it harder for tourists spending the weekend in Amsterdam to get magic mushrooms. Foreign users account for about 90 percent of the incidents involving the substance.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news