Friday, February 01, 2008

Shrooming Economy

It's bonkers in Holland:
THE HAGUE – The sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms rose dramatically last year. The National Association of Smartshops (VLOS) reports that the sales of magic mushrooms increased 20 percent.

....The capital is the centre for the trade in mushrooms.

Public Health Minister Ab Klink and Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin decided last year to ban the cultivation and sale of fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms have long been banned under narcotics legislation.

[VLOS board member Guy] Boels says the number of incidents in Amsterdam actually declined last year in relative terms, taking the increased sales figures into account. The owners of smartshops, shops that sell mushrooms and drug paraphernalia, are using this argument to support their case against a ban.

They would rather see better regulation on the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms, by only allowing sales in specialised shops for instance.

They also support Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen's proposal to institute a 3-day waiting period before a purchaser can pick up the mushrooms.

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