I've got to say I think this is a good idea. Hallucinogens are not for meddling with, especially in uncontrolled doseages.
The Netherlands will ban the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms, the government announced Friday, rolling back one element of the country's permissive drug policy after a teenager on a school visit jumped to her death after taking the fungus.And another plus - maybe Michael will straighten up long enough* to figure out what an ethically-challenged prat his co-blogger Jason Steck is.
The decision will go into effect within several months, said Wim van der Weegen, a Justice Ministry spokesman.
``The problem with mushrooms is that their effect is unpredictable,'' he said, and shops caught selling them will be closed.
Marijuana and hashish are technically illegal in the Netherlands, but police do not bother to prosecute people for possession of small amounts, and it is sold openly in designated cafes.
Possession of ``hard'' drugs like cocaine, LSD and Ecstasy is illegal. Mushrooms will fall somewhere in the middle.
``We're not talking about a non-prosecution policy, but we'll be targeting sellers'' Van der Weegen said.
Psilocybin, the main active chemical in the mushrooms, has been illegal under international law since 1971. However, fresh, unprocessed mushrooms continued to be sold legally in the Netherlands along with herbal medicines in so-called ``smart-shops,'' on the theory that it was impossible to determine how much of the naturally occurring substance any given mushroom contains.
Van der Weegen said that was also the reason the system proved unworkable: ``It's impossible to estimate what amount will have what effect.''
Calls for a re-evaluation arose after Gaelle Caroff, a 17-year-old visiting from France, from a building in Amsterdam in March after eating psychedelic mushrooms.
* Just kidding about this bit, Michael - you're one of the straightest people on either side of Blogtopia.