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Monday, 29 October 2012

Criminological evidence and seizures

In 2000, when a risk assessment was carried out in the Netherlands a number of smartshop owners
were thought to have ties with the synthetic drugs market and they were not prepared to disclose the
names of mushroom suppliers (CAM, 2000). The risk assessment report provides information on an
investigation carried out by the National Criminal Intelligence Service (CRI) to assess the frequency
of public nuisance related to hallucinogenic mushrooms. The CRI contacted various municipalities
but found no evidence of public nuisance as a result of sale or use of these substances.
In 2004, police or customs seizures of hallucinogenic mushrooms were reported in Czech Republic,
Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden (National reports, 2005, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands, Norway
(reporting form 2005, Detecting, tracking and understanding emerging trends, Czech Republic,
Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden). Estonia reported the confiscation
of 14 mail deliveries of psilocybin mushrooms or their spores or mycelium (EMCDDA, national report
Estonia, 2005). Reported trends in seizures of hallucinogenic mushrooms were mixed. Data from
customs in Sweden show an increase in 2004, while Norway reported a decrease. Germany also
reported an increase (EMCDDA, national report Germany, 2005). The largest quantity seized was
reported in Poland where police seized a total of 11.5 kg of hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2004.
Since the reclassification of hallucinogenic mushroom as a Class A drug in the UK, seizures made
by law enforcement authorities have also been recorded. One report involved hallucinogenic
mushrooms worth £6,000 (€8,700) seized in Glasgow in 2005
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4699343.stm, 20.07.2005). In Cyprus, for the first time the
police seized hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2006 which apparently had been purchased through a
Dutch retailer (national focal point, Cyprus).
Very few data are available as regards drug law offences. In the Czech Republic the Police National
Drug Squad reported nine offences related to hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2003 and 2004. In
Greece, a total of 37 and 20 offences (20) were reported in relation to hallucinogenic mushrooms
in 2003 and 2004 respectively (reporting form, 2005, Detecting, tracking and understanding
emerging trends, Czech Republic, Greece).