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Magic limbo
    #3144663 - 09/16/04 06:58 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)


The other drug industry

ON A recent Saturday, Camden High Street in London was busy living up to its name. A group of teenagers giggled at a priapic bong in a display window. Dealers made eyes at passers by and whispered ?marijuana?. But not everyone was so discreet. Several stalls advertised ?magic mushrooms??psychedelic fungi containing psilocin, a hallucinogen and a class A drug.

This is trippy, because the government says selling the mushroom is illegal. It was not always thus. In a letter written back in 2003, the Home Office said that fresh psychedelic mushrooms are game as long as they have ?not been prepared in any way?. Armed with the letter, entrepreneurs have set up an estimated 300 fresh magic mushroom outlets across the country, believing that only freezing, drying or making tea from the fungi was taboo. But a Home Office spokesman said this week that since the shrooms are ?transported, wrapped and so on?, that makes them a ?preparation??and therefore banned.

For now, the government is letting individual police forces decide how to react, while waiting for court cases to ?clarify this situation once and for all.? Police have raided several shops in recent months, while leaving others in the same district alone. Celia Strange, the solicitor who represents a Kent man charged for intent to supply psilocin, says she'll be defending the case on human-rights grounds. ?The authorities are selectively choosing whom to prosecute while leaving other people to carry on with the business. It is unjust.? Meanwhile, Customs and Excise confirmed in July that the mushrooms are taxable at the standard 17.5% VAT rate, because they are not food but a drug. Retailers complain that one hand of the government is threatening to shut them down while the other is busy taxing their product as if it were legal.

The uncertainty might explain the high prices charged by the sellers. Stalls on Camden High Street sell 10-gram packages for between ?10 and ?15, depending on strength. Online prices are much lower, but the business still profitable: one web retailer of drug paraphernalia said the margin on the fungi he buys legally in the Netherlands and sells in Britain runs to several hundred percent, though he is coy about exact details. ?People are waiting for direction,? he says. ?If this uncertainty were removed, a lot more businesses would set up farms over here because that would cut down on costs of distribution.?

The mushroom-peddlers' responsible behaviour supports their argument for legalisation. The Camden Mushroom Company lines up the jars of shrooms in the order of potency, and stall-keepers are keen to advise customers on how to consume them. A ?trip? lasts for up to six hours; the ?shroomer? becomes exhilarated, grins inanely and often feels like a character in a movie. But the sort of skin-crawling bad trip associated with under-the-table hallucinogens like LSD is rare, because the doses are carefully measured. Some complain their experiences are insufficiently mind-bending, probably because sellers direct new customers to less potent varieties. Illegal drug dealers down the street offer no such favours

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Re: Magic limbo [Re: Annom]
    #3145143 - 09/16/04 09:08 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

of all the trips I have had, the most hairy moments where on mushrooms, acid to me anyway, is much nicer as far as "bad trps" are concerend. then again the term "bad trip" is ambiguious...


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Re: Magic limbo [Re: gdman]
    #3146317 - 09/17/04 01:17 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I think so too. I high dose of mushrooms makes me feel a lot more out of control wierd crazy then a high dose of lsd does.

This is the only time I really feel alive.

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Re: Magic limbo [Re: gdman]
    #3147179 - 09/17/04 07:25 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)


gdman420 said:
acid to me anyway, is much nicer

That's been my experience as well.

I've never had a "bad trip" per say but I have had some pretty uncomfortable trips, always from mushrooms.

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Re: Magic limbo [Re: boxtop703]
    #3179160 - 09/25/04 04:25 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)


boxtop703 said:

gdman420 said:
acid to me anyway, is much nicer

That's been my experience as well.

I've never had a "bad trip" per say but I have had some pretty uncomfortable trips, always from mushrooms.

Same here, Ive never had a 'bad trip' on LSD or mushrooms but Ive had some mushroom trips that have made me wish that I wasnt tripping.

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