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Parts of Shropshire are being targeted by suppliers exploiting a legal loophole and offering door-to-door deliveries of "magic" mushrooms, it was revealed today.
Police in Telford have stepped up inquiries to trace the origins of dozens of leaflets being distributed in the town offering exotic fungi for sale. There is concern the "Fabulous Fungi" could be in the form of a hallucinogenic substance.
And people have been strongly advised to ignore the advertising literature.
Detective Constable Bob Wilson said residents in Brookside and Sutton Hill had received the material claiming various types of fungi were available, including Mexican, Thai, Columbian and Philosophers Stones.
It also states the product is available at various prices according to weight, and will be delivered fresh and in their natural state.
A number of the leaflets were handed in by residents concerned that children could pick up the leaflets and be tempted to try the fungi.
"We are not sure what they are selling but the inference is that it is a type of hallucinogenic substance.
"Many types of "fungus" can be extremely dangerous and some prepared varieties are categorised as Class A controlled drugs," he warned.
Inquiries by the Shropshire Star show the magic mushroom industry sees the current law as a green light to step up trading and there are up to 300 shops and dozens of internet websites.
Many of the online sites are in Europe and include a Northampton-based firm which is offering a next-day home delivery service.
The company's website offers home grow kits for ?25 and a variety of mushrooms ranging in price from ?7.50 to ?15 for ten grams.
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 the gatherer does not commercially "prepare" the mushroom before selling they are not committing a criminal offence. But ministers are now reported to be taking action to tighten the loophole