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OfflinemotamanM
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Class A nibbles hit the high street
    #2176427 - 12/14/03 11:01 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

http://www.news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1370622003

Sun 14 Dec 2003 show images

Class A nibbles hit the high street

IAN JOHNSTON

BANDS of hippies in search of a memorable high at a low cost once tramped the countryside in search of this illicit fungi.

The hallucinogenic effects of magic mushrooms were generally restricted to those determined enough to scour forests and secluded glades at the right time of the year.

But help is now at hand for those who find reality too dull and can?t be bothered to leave the city in search of a solution.

Magic mushrooms, despite containing a Class A drug, have recently gone on sale in Scottish shops without - so far - attracting the attention of the police.

Retailers are making full use of vagueness in the law which means magic mushrooms are only illegal if they are ?dried? or ?prepared?.

For nearly half a century, The Pipe Shop on Edinburgh?s Leith Walk, has been one of the top places to buy Havana cigars in Scotland. But, alongside the jars of specialist tobacco and a massive humidor full of the finest Cuban tobacco leaves, there are now discreet signs offering "Mexicana magic mushrooms" for ?12 a bag.

And a former greasy spoon in Leith - newly converted to an internet cafe and renamed ?Purple Haze? - has also diversified into the business, selling both the Mexican and Hawaiian strains.

The tobacconist and cafe owner both have a letter from the Home Office that indicates the sale of magic mushrooms is legal, providing they are sold in their natural state.

However, Scottish authorities appear ready to adopt a hardline stance on the sale of the mushrooms, which contain the class A substance psilocybin, that could lead to life sentences for both men if a judge interprets the law differently.

Tobacconist Alan Myerthall, 58, makes an unlikely supplier to the students, businessmen and pensioners who flock to his shop.

While he enjoys a cigar with a glass of red wine or the occasional whisky, he would never dream of taking a mushroomed-fuelled trip.

He said: "As far as I?m concerned other people can do as they please. We get absolutely no trouble from our mushroom customers.

"We are selling magic mushrooms and truffles, and as far as I?m concerned it?s legal.

"It is a natural product. What?s inside the mushrooms is a class A drug, but it doesn?t seem to be doing anybody any harm. People don?t seem to be getting addicted to it. It just seems to be a bit of fun."

Myerthall got into the business after expanding into the sale of extra-large cigarette papers used to smoke marijuana cigarettes, bongs and "herbal highs" such as the hallucinogenic herb salvia divinorum.

A supplier suggested he should sell magic mushrooms and, after initial scepticism, he decided to stock them. Most are grown in Holland and then shipped into Britain by wholesalers.

?We get absolutely no trouble from our mushroom customers?




"We started selling the mushrooms as an experiment and it just took off. It?s been very big," he said. "We have a sign up but I would like to keep it low profile. I just hope I don?t get any flak from trading standards or the Home Office."

Magic mushrooms were once used by a minority of drug users, but there are now estimated to be more than 10,000 regular users as it becomes part of the mainstream drug scene, used at student parties and in nightclubs.

Paul Stewart, 37, of the Purple Haze internet cafe on Portland Place, near the Ocean Terminal complex in Leith, sells Mexicana, at ?15 for a 30g bag, and the stronger Hawaiian mushrooms, at ?12 for 10g.

"The more people take magic mushrooms the better as far as I?m concerned, especially politicians. It might broaden their minds. Jack McConnell should take a bit," he said.

"I think everyone should try everything once, apart from hard drugs. I don?t think I?m doing anything immoral or illegal."

A letter from Ian Breadmore, of the Home Office?s drug licensing section, seems to support the latter claim at least.

"It is not illegal to sell or give away a freshly picked mushroom provided it has not been prepared in any way," he says.

However, Breadmore warns that legal advice should be sought on what "prepared" means. "It would be for the courts to determine whether chilling mushrooms in a fridge constituted altering them in any way," he says.

Alistair Ramsay, of Scotland Against Drugs, said he thought the police should investigate the sale of the mushrooms, arguing that even cutting them from the ground could be viewed as "preparation".

"If they then sell it, the penalty open to the court would be life in prison," he said.

"Psilocybin is a very powerful drug and I think it is ridiculous we should be able to buy illegal substances through commercial premises.

"I think it is highly irresponsible to sell them. Would you want a bus driver under the influence of this? Someone using heavy machinery? A pilot?"

A police source said even putting magic mushrooms in a bag or allowing them to dry out while waiting to be sold could constitute "preparation" and lead to arrest.

"I think the people selling them are on dangerous ground," the source said.

And a official spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police confirmed: "If we received information regarding psilocybin we would have an interest in that because it is a class A controlled drug and supply of that would be viewed as an offence."

? MAGIC mushrooms produce a range of effects from giggling fits to potentially dangerous levels of paranoia, according to one leading expert.

Neil Montgomery, director of research at the Institute for the Study of Psychoactive Substances in Edinburgh, who gives evidence in court cases about the effects of drugs, said someone taking a small amount might hardly notice anything.

However, colours could appear to be more vivid and shapes more distinct. Giggling fits are also common.

But taking a larger dose produces a significant effect on the brain and the world becomes "slightly surreal".

"It seems to be an internal process of examining your own thoughts and perceptions. It does tend to make you concentrate on the bigger picture," Montgomery said. "You?re much more concerned about saving the whale than whether or not your paper arrived on time."

However, it can also make people obsessively interested in simple things.

"You may feel you have a bit of a bounce in your step when walking. You could get drawn into the process of walking and disappear for two hours examining that. I suppose that could be a problem, but you?re not going to find yourself sleeping in a chair or trying to jump out the window."

But Montgomery warned that people occasionally had a bad reaction to the drug. "I think paranoia is the most dangerous effect.

Some people cannot quite cope with the altered state of self that you get."


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InvisibleRevelation

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Re: Class A nibbles hit the high street [Re: motaman]
    #2176827 - 12/14/03 03:01 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

The Pipe Shop on Edinburgh?s Leith Walk

Thanks! I'll keep that in mind.

I really hope this takes off in a big way.


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Offlinestefan
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Re: Class A nibbles hit the high street [Re: motaman]
    #2180115 - 12/15/03 06:14 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Neil Montgomery, director of research at the Institute for the Study of Psychoactive Substances in Edinburgh, who gives evidence in court cases about the effects of drugs, said someone taking a small amount might hardly notice anything.

However, colours could appear to be more vivid and shapes more distinct. Giggling fits are also common.

But taking a larger dose produces a significant effect on the brain and the world becomes "slightly surreal".

"It seems to be an internal process of examining your own thoughts and perceptions. It does tend to make you concentrate on the bigger picture," Montgomery said. "You?re much more concerned about saving the whale than whether or not your paper arrived on time."

However, it can also make people obsessively interested in simple things.

"You may feel you have a bit of a bounce in your step when walking. You could get drawn into the process of walking and disappear for two hours examining that. I suppose that could be a problem, but you?re not going to find yourself sleeping in a chair or trying to jump out the window."

But Montgomery warned that people occasionally had a bad reaction to the drug. "I think paranoia is the most dangerous effect.

Some people cannot quite cope with the altered state of self that you get."




good to see some respectable researcher tells the truth :thumbup:


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OfflineDailyPot
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Re: Class A nibbles hit the high street [Re: motaman]
    #2182883 - 12/16/03 05:02 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

motaman said:
"I think it is highly irresponsible to sell them. Would you want a bus driver under the influence of this? Someone using heavy machinery? A pilot?" 



The same sad story :frown:  I thought they got passed that one already realizing how shitty an argument it was :thumbdown:


Edited by DailyPot (12/27/03 01:36 AM)


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Class A nibbles hit the high street [Re: DailyPot]
    #2182959 - 12/16/03 05:18 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

I wouldn't want a doctor oporating on my brain while they were jumping on a pogp stick either, but that doesn't justify putting someone in jail for the rest of their life for having a pogo stick.


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Offlinecanid
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Re: Class A nibbles hit the high street [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2185274 - 12/17/03 02:46 PM (12 years, 11 months ago)

well put BH :smile:

Quote:


You may feel you have a bit of a bounce in your step when walking. You could get drawn into the process of walking and disappear for two hours examining that.





that's me every time :smile:. i've been walking around after eating mushrooms only to have people tell me that rather than walking, i was dancing toward the direction i wanted to go. heh.


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Attn PWN hunters: If you should come across a bluing Psilocybe matching P. pellicolusa please smell it.
If you detect a scent reminiscent of Anethole (anise) please preserve a specimen or two for study and please PM me.


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