News of: Monday, December 01 2008,
Starting today, the sale and production of so-called 'magic mushrooms' is prohibited in the Netherlands.
The prohibition means that 189 different kinds of mushrooms (nicknamed paddo's in Dutch) are placed on the list of illegal drugs.
The prohibition is initiated after a series of (alleged) incidents with the mushrooms, particularly with tourists visiting Amsterdam. These incidents included aggression, jumping out of windows and suicide. Critics say that in most cases it is not clear whether use of the psycedelic mushrooms were the main cause of the incidents, as other drugs (like marihuana and alcohol) were involved too.
The prohibition is widely criticized by experts. They say the sale of the mushrooms will go on, but now underground. Smartshops (shops where you can/could buy the mushrooms) say that from now on buyers will no longer get professional information about how to use them.
Another objection concerns the fact that many of the illegal mushrooms are native to Dutch nature - they grow in many gardens and parks. It is unclear whether the garden or park owners can now be prosecuted.
The mayor of Amsterdam, Mr Job Cohen, has also said he is against the ban, as he fears the sale will go underground.
Yesterday the smartshops were flooded by last-time buyers, hoarding the now illegal drug.