News of: Friday, October 12 2007,
The Dutch government has decided today that the sale of so-called 'magic mushrooms' will be prohibited.
The prohibition is instigated by a series of serious incidents in Amsterdam, concerning (mostly young) tourists who used the mushrooms. The mushrooms work as a drug, but the effect is unpredictable. Using the mushrooms can lead to violence, depression and suicidal behaviour. A French girl died earlier this year when, after using the mushrooms, she jumped of a high building.
The mushrooms (nicknamed 'paddo's' in Dutch) were already illegal drugs in their dried form, but fresh mushrooms can still be sold. This will be prohibited too, probably by the end of this year.
With the prohibition, the Netherlands harmonizes its law with that of most other European countries.
Smart shops in Amsterdam (shops where you can buy the mushrooms) have already said that they will simply switch to selling other drugs, that are not illegal, but have the same or similar effect.
They also say that the ban is counter-productive: the sale and production will go underground, according to some.
There is a association of smart shops, of which the spokesperson said today that there are only problems in Amsterdam, with tourists using the mushrooms, and now all smartshops have to suffer.