Netherlands bans magic mushrooms
Magic mushrooms will no longer be sold in smart shops as of 1 December 2008.11 November 2008
THE HAGUE - Dutch Health Minister Ab Klink has decided to implement a total ban on hallucinogenic mushrooms, known as magic mushrooms.
The new measure which will come into effect on 1 December replaces an existing law banning the sale of dried mushrooms and now includes fresh mushrooms and the cultivation of 182 varieties of hallucinogenic fungi, reports Trouw.
De Volkskrant writes that the lower house called for a complete ban after a 17-year-old French tourist jumped to her death this past summer after taking magic mushrooms. The French tourist's suicide was one of a number of deadly incidents involving tourists and magic mushrooms last summer.
The mind-altering fungi are freely available in smart shops in the Netherlands.
The minister wanted to introduce the ban before the summer, but this proved impossible because the bill still needed the approval of the Council of State, the most senior government advisory body.
Smart shops owners say the problem is confined to foreign tourists and can easily be solved with better information. The association representing smart shops – stores which sell magic mushrooms - has expressed disappointment and said it would take legal steps to prevent the ban.
[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]