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OfflinemotamanM
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UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms
    #2971157 - 08/06/04 09:43 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=117&art_id=vn20040803054444353C158101

UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms

August 03 2004 at 05:44AM

Timothy Leary, the intellectual cheerleader of chemical transcendence, said that when he ate magic mushrooms in Mexico in 1960 he learned more in four hours than in all his years as a psychologist.

Forty-four years later, seekers of knowledge need only take a stroll along one of London's famous high streets and visit one of the many "shroom shops" to test his theory. Furthermore, they can do it without breaking the law.

To prove the point, many of the shop owners display copies of a letter written by a Home Office official that makes it clear there is nothing illegal in the trade of freshly picked magic mushrooms.

But their legal sale appears to be about to end since ministers have moved to tighten the loophole.

Under the current law the psilocybe mushroom, or magic mushroom, is not a controlled substance, but the hallucinogen, psilocin, that it contains, is classified as a Class A drug.

Provided gatherers don't commercially "prepare" the mushroom - by freezing it, drying it or using it to make tea - before selling it, they are not committing a criminal offence.

But the shift in policy signals a new zero-tolerance, meaning that the sale of unprepared mushrooms could now be
illegal. Home Office Minister Caroline Flint has told shop owners that if they are selling magic mushrooms they are probably breaking the law.

Anti-drug groups have long warned that this legal loophole encourages young people to experiment with a hallucinogenic substance that can lead to nightmarish trips, stomach pains, sickness and, in some case, psychiatric problems. The minister advises: "In the Home Office's view, a form of preparation and production has occurred by the sale of magic mushrooms in market places and shops or at other premises or at other sale points.

"Accordingly, those selling, or seeking to sell, the mushrooms at such premises are unlawfully supplying a product containing psilocin and or psilocybin."

There are now estimated to be between 200 and 300 shops selling mushrooms in Britain and many other businesses trading online. Some of the mushrooms are home-grown, but the bulk of the produce is imported from Holland.

The use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is probably as old as humanity itself. Ancient peoples are known to have taken mushrooms to experience altered states of consciousness and gain "spiritual enlightenment".

A group of mushroom statues found in Guatemala and thought to date as far back as 500 BC has been interpreted as evidence that ancient peoples once worshipped the mushroom.

But it wasn't until the 1960s that Western cultures, led by counter-culture gurus such as Timothy Leary, began to use mushrooms recreationally as a natural and milder alternative to acid.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2971166 - 08/06/04 09:49 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Lets hope the court cases don't go the governments way.

It's not over till the fat lady on mushrooms sings...


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineRedo
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Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1,296
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2973901 - 08/07/04 12:14 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

now people will have to grow them like over here in the US


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OfflineMAGnum
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Registered: 07/08/04
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Redo]
    #2973911 - 08/07/04 12:23 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

There's also going to be an underground market for them as well.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Redo]
    #2974724 - 08/07/04 06:56 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

now people will have to grow them like over here in the US

We're still a couple of steps ahead of the US. Here the sale of mycelium is legal, just get the mycelium cakes and put em in a propagator and 2 weeks later they appear. Lot simpler than growing them from spores.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibleBi0TeK
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Registered: 11/07/02
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2977570 - 08/08/04 08:13 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Actually, that report isn't very clear. I saw a report on this subject the other night on channel 4 news and whats really being frowned on is the sale of magic mushrooms that have been vacuum packed to increase theyre shelf life.

I can see how some would consider vacuum packing as 'altering them by the hand of man'


--------------------
PROMOTE BACTERIA. THEY'RE THE ONLY CULTURE SOME PEOPLE HAVE.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Bi0TeK]
    #2978508 - 08/08/04 04:22 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

But the home office chick says selling them qualifies as preparation?


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineFungi_x
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2980621 - 08/09/04 08:06 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:


Anti-drug groups have long warned that this legal loophole encourages young people to experiment with a hallucinogenic substance that can lead to nightmarish trips, stomach pains, sickness and, in some case, psychiatric problems. The minister advises: "In the Home Office's view, a form of preparation and production has occurred by the sale of magic mushrooms in market places and shops or at other premises or at other sale points.





I notice "Death" is not in there. Fucking drug laws.


--------------------

HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!


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OfflineRedo
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Xlea321]
    #2984875 - 08/10/04 06:36 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:

We're still a couple of steps ahead of the US. Here the sale of mycelium is legal, just get the mycelium cakes and put em in a propagator and 2 weeks later they appear. Lot simpler than growing them from spores.




Order the bags and a syringe, the only difference is 2-3 weeks of mycelium growth =b.


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Invisiblepsilomonkey
Twisted brainwrong of a oneoff man mental

Registered: 08/08/03
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2985592 - 08/10/04 12:55 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Strange that UK customs and excise seem happy with it....

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/story.jsp?story=549840

Customs to rake in ?1m from VAT on magic mushrooms
By Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent
10 August 2004



Magic mushroom traders are facing a ?1m tax bill after a Customs and Excise ruling that the hallucinogenic fungus is to be treated as a drug and not a food.

The move comes just weeks after ministers ordered a clamp-down on the increasing number of shops and market stalls that sell the mushrooms. Guidance issued by Customs makes it clear that the magic mushroom must be subject to a 17.5 per cent VAT charge because it is eaten for its "stimulant" rather than "nutritional" effect.

In a letter written in response to an inquiry from a north London shop owner, the Customs' National Advice Service said: "Unfortunately the said mushroom does not qualify for zero-rating under ... the VAT Act 1994 and is therefore standard rated for VAT purposes at 17.5 per cent."

Customs argued: "It is evident from various magic mushrooms websites that you do not use it based on the amount required in a recipe, you use amounts based on what sort of 'trip' you want."

The letter, based on guidance from the Customs and Excise unit of expertise, added: "In these recipes, the foodstuffs are used as a vehicle for consuming the drug as opposed to ... an essential ingredient. Accordingly the amount recommended to be used in recipes dictates how much you 'trip' as opposed to any ordinary reason."

There are estimated to be between 200 and 300 shops selling magic mushrooms and many other businesses trading online. The bulk of the produce is imported from the Netherlands. It has been suggested that the Treasury could be in line for a ?1m mushroom tax windfall.

Mushroom traders argue that the Government is guilty of hypocrisy by making it a criminal offence to sell prepared mushrooms while at the same time making money from taxing the sale of fresh mushrooms after shops were raided.

Chris Territt, from the Psyche Deli in north London, said: "Customs and Excise have reviewed the situation for us and, in their opinion, the mushrooms, which are mostly imported under their supervision, are not only legal but VAT-able. Consequently the Government is taking 17.5 per cent of every mushroom transaction. If the Government thinks we're breaking the law, how can it be taking our money?"

Another mushroom trader said she was having to pay backdated VAT. Sylvia Chandler, of the Federation of Shamanic Entheogens Retailers and Wholesalers, said: "It's ridiculous that the Government thinks the mushroom is a drug and not a food. The chemical in the mushroom belongs to the same series of serotonin chemicals that naturally occur in the human body."

Customs argues that the average person would "consider" the magic mushroom to be a drug. A spokeswoman said the VAT advice applied only to "fresh" mushrooms and that once they were "prepared" for sale, by freezing, drying or making tea, the mushrooms were classified as a class A drug.

TAXING ISSUES

Gingerbread men dipped in chocolate are subject to VAT at 17.5 per cent, but those covered with caramel are not. The chocolate makes it a sweet rather than a tax-free biscuit.
The great debate over whether Jaffa Cakes are a VAT-able chocolate-covered biscuit, or a tax-free cake caused such disagreement that it went to tribunal in 1991. McVitie's won its argument that its product was a cake by baking a foot wide Jaffa Cake and passing it around in the hearing.
Women used to pay ?45m a year in VAT on tampons until Gordon Brown decided to treat them as a non-luxury item and lifted the tax four years ago.
Women who buy size five or larger shoes have to pay VAT whereas those with smaller feet qualify for children's tax exemptions.


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InvisibleLe_Canard
Danger Man

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 93,269
Loc: Earthfarm 1 Flag
Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2990781 - 08/11/04 01:00 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Sad. I always figured the UK government to be much more enlightened than the US government.


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InvisibleSorted
Monkee
Registered: 12/27/98
Posts: 301
Loc: UK
Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Le_Canard]
    #2994950 - 08/12/04 11:23 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Pft.. they might as well just merge the two together these days. I'm not sure some people are entirely joking when they refer to the UK as being the eastern seaboard of the US.


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OfflineJackal
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #2996261 - 08/12/04 05:33 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

This was inevitable, 'shroom usage has multiplied ten-fold in the last three years due to people freely selling kits/fruits etc. Spoilt it for everyone now. :frown:


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Offlinest0nedphucker
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Registered: 04/17/03
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Jackal]
    #2999230 - 08/13/04 06:52 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Couldn't agree more.

These shops, and there are a good few in Cardiff alone, have no problem selling shrooms to anyone. Regardless of age...

Not only is it irresponsible but it pisses me off!  :mad2:

Countless numbers of my "friends" buy them and then sit there asking me things like

'Should I eat the stems?'
'If I eat this one and a bit of that one will I trip?'
'Is it true that if you eat more than x amount you can go mad for life...'

.......:pottymouth:

Hopefully any planned change in the law will only apply to vacumm packing and/or the sale of shrooms.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #3001183 - 08/13/04 04:17 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Regardless of age? Are you sure about that? I can't see many shop owners seeing much future in selling magic mushrooms to 12 year olds.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Offlinest0nedphucker
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Xlea321]
    #3003602 - 08/14/04 06:13 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quite. Maybe not 12 year olds, I don't think many 12 year olds have an active interest in consuming psychoactive drugs  :smirk:


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InvisibleLoki
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Registered: 02/10/04
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: motaman]
    #3008259 - 08/16/04 08:23 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

The uk goverment has not decided to let mushrooms sales continue, but is going to add a tax on them, and call them a food product. some good, some bad news. The tax is set to be 17.5%


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Invisiblemjshroomer
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Registered: 07/22/99
Posts: 13,774
Loc: gone with my shrooms
Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: st0nedphucker]
    #3009039 - 08/16/04 03:19 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Ther eis a private school on Maui accross formt he Makawao Rodeo grounds called Seabury Hall.

After school during rainy season one can see dozens of 11-15 year old kids picking Copelandias formt he pastures at the rodeo grounds on a daily baisis. One or tow at a time and some times a dozen kids have been seen picking them.

In Samoa, the kids pick them on the grounds of the morman church. Their samoan parents see no harm and think it is just a passing phaze amongst their young fold. They consider coke cola more dangerous than shrooms.

mj


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: mjshroomer]
    #3009518 - 08/16/04 05:02 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Maria Sabina and her sister used to eat mushrooms when they were very young children too.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineJackal
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Re: UK government puts the lid on magic mushrooms [Re: Loki]
    #3014092 - 08/17/04 04:41 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Loki said:
The uk goverment has not decided to let mushrooms sales continue, but is going to add a tax on them, and call them a food product. some good, some bad news. The tax is set to be 17.5%




Yeah, like whose gonna declare that on their tax-return. If they don't screw you for dealing, then they'll screw you for tax-evasion!!!

Didn't they do that to Al Capone? :P


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