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Registered: 06/18/99
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British ads tout magic of shrooms
    #3464133 - 12/08/04 01:09 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)


LONDON - In Camden Town, amid the tattoo parlors, street markets and piercing salons, huge banners along High Street advertise: "MAGIC MUSHROOMS."

While in the United States the power of religious conservatives is said to be increasing, Europe is tripping off in a different direction. Hallucinogens, packaged as professionally as bean sprouts in a supermarket, are readily available.

Certainly, drugs are available around the world, particularly in similar bohemian hot spots like New York's Greenwich Village.

But in Camden Town, a neighborhood in northwest London, we're not talking about a furtive whisper of, "Psst, marijuana?"

We're talking about kiosks where would-be trippers can browse at their leisure, or even entire stores, with big glass-fronted refrigerators to keep the product fresh.

Brisk business

Take Amsterdam of London. The store features an impressive array of bongs, several refrigerators full of mushrooms, and marijuana seeds for happy horticulturalists.

The store has its own Web site, though it did not seem to be working this week. And the store manager, Bethany Le, has business cards adorned with mushrooms and a marijuana sprig.

Nothing furtive here. In Britain, the mushrooms, which contain psilocybin, a banned, mind-altering drug, are legal as long as they have not been "processed," which is generally interpreted to mean dried or frozen.

Le claims to import a quarter of a ton of mushrooms from Amsterdam per week, and says he supplies many of the outlets up and down High Street.

He carries about 20 different varieties. Prices vary, but the shrooms go for about 20 pounds sterling, about $38, for 35 grams, which is enough for two people.

"My recommended dose is 15 grams per person," Le said. "It's a full trip."

A guide to the varieties is posted on the wall. Beginners are advised to try Mexican.

"These mushrooms will give you a happy trip," the guide says, "with laughing and trippy thoughts. Social and controllable."

By contrast, Hawaiian Copelandia is best reserved for experienced users.

"This is the strongest kind," the guide warns. "This trip is very visual and very intense. The effect will last 6-7 hours. Not recommended for the faint-hearted."

Amsterdam of London is one of the largest vendors in the area, but by no means the only one. Storefronts and kiosks up and down High Street sell mushrooms, sometimes in bulk, to be weighed at the time of sale, and sometimes pre-measured with professionally printed labels.

High Street's community

It is worth noting that in Britain, the main street is often called the High Street. The name of this road is unrelated to the condition of those who frequent it, though a stroll along its length could convince a visitor otherwise.

Not a few people have hair of fire-engine red or swimming-pool blue. Tattoo parlors seem more numerous than sandwich shops. It is common to see people with a half-dozen rings through their faces. Hawkers distribute fliers advertising special low rates on nipple piercings.

And most of the mushroom sellers offer advice based on first-hand experience. One said he used mushrooms to study.

"Not always," he said, "but when I need to clear my mind." He contended he's been scoring well on his exams.

The popularity of mushrooms has increased enormously in the past year or two. Customers range from young to old, from arty to professional, with a smattering of celebrities thrown in.

But many are middle-age people who've grown nostalgic for their days of mushroom use in college 30 or more years ago.

Some stalls also sell little cactuses growing in little pots. Yep, peyote, also legal if it has not been processed.

Two-person police teams are ubiquitous in Camden Town; they stroll by the mushroom stalls without batting an eye.

There is talk of changing the law so mushrooms will no longer be legal, said Ares Michaelides, a police community support officer who stood not far from a shroom stall.

But advocates say that mushrooms do not foster anti-social behavior. Instead, users tend to trip in the privacy of their homes.

"You have to prioritize," Michaelides said.

Surprisingly, some users take a different view. A couple from Paris, Caroline Gojon and Francois Boyon, browsed the stalls one day last week. Boyon has used mushrooms before; for Gojon, that experience still lies in the future.

"I think yes, it should be illegal," Boyon said as he shopped. "It's like cannabis. I smoke, but I think it's normal that it's illegal. If drugs were legal, the whole world would be (messed) up."

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Registered: 12/05/04
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Re: British ads tout magic of shrooms [Re: Anno]
    #3464513 - 12/08/04 02:31 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Hahah, that's so wicked. Once again the many differences between North America and Europe.

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, sex, violence and insanity - but chrissakes, they've always worked for me!"

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Re: British ads tout magic of shrooms [Re: Mounsteen]
    #3466678 - 12/08/04 08:43 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

shrooms for studying... that is the greatest lie i've ever read...
not to mention the french subjects words, "i smoke, but i think it's normal that it's illegal..."... - it's becoming nonsense humor now.
what difference does it makes if things are legal/illegal as long as they're availiable?


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Exposer of Truth
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Registered: 08/13/03
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Re: British ads tout magic of shrooms [Re: Anno]
    #3466695 - 12/08/04 08:45 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

WOW 15 grams per person. thats unbeleivable. 32 grams would last me a couple months.

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Twisted brainwrong of a oneoff man mental

Registered: 08/08/03
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Re: British ads tout magic of shrooms [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #3468794 - 12/09/04 04:15 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

That's 15 wet grams, it is illegal to sell dried shrooms, they would be class-A if dried. LSD, heroin and cocaine are also class-A.

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Registered: 12/27/98
Posts: 301
Loc: UK
Re: British ads tout magic of shrooms [Re: psilomonkey]
    #3474879 - 12/10/04 06:55 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

They might be considered Class A after being in a fridge if next weeks court case ends that way..

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