Saturday, 2 February 2013

Court upholds 'magic' mushroom ban

A ban on the cultivation and sale of fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms, known as paddos, can go into effect on December 1 as planned, a court in The Hague ruled on Friday.
VLOS, an organisation representing 51 so-called smart shops where mushrooms and other herbal highs are sold, went to court in a last-ditch attempt to have the ban overturned. The sale of dried mushrooms is already illegal.
The shop owners argued that health minister Ab Klink could not show that using mushrooms causes damage to health or society. They also said the government had not taken into account that ban will result in a 50 percent cut in their income.
Klink said last year he planned to include hallucinogenic mushrooms in the opium law, which means they are considered a hard drug. Pressure mounted on the government to take action after a number of incidents involving foreign tourists.
But the role of mushrooms in some cases, such as the death of a 17-year-old French girl last year, has never been proved.
The court ruled in Klink's favour but did not issue a statement. VLOS said it would wait for more information before deciding whether to appeal.