A Dutch association of shops that sell “magic mushrooms” on Monday called for a self-imposed ban on the sale of the hallucinogenic fungi to minors.
The move comes during an ongoing debate in the Netherlands about the safety of the magic mushrooms after a number of incidents involving tourists who had taken them.
A majority in Dutch parliament said it was in favour of a total ban but in June Health Minister Ab Klink said he just wants an age limit because a total ban was not legally possible.
According to the association of so-called “smartshops” VLOS an age limit would solve most problems “often caused by tourists who come to Amsterdam to go wild”, spokesperson Paul van Oyen said.
The VLOS represents 39 of the about 180 shops that sell the mushrooms in the Netherlands. In addition to the age limit the VLOS wants to distribute special information flyers in different languages also warning about mixing the mushrooms with other drugs or alcohol.
In late March a majority in Dutch parliament backed a total ban when a 17-year-old French girl died after throwing herself from an Amsterdam bridge after consuming magic mushrooms.
In the Netherlands the sale of dried magic mushrooms is banned but fresh ones are allowed because they can also be found naturally in some Dutch woods.
Since the beginning of the year, 35 people have called Amsterdam emergency services after eating them. Ninety percent were tourists, according to the health authorities.
In January the GGD raised the alarm over a rise in mushroom-related incidents. However, the same report shows that incidents where an ambulance was called involving alcohol or cannabis far outweigh those with mushroom.
– Source: AFP, July 24, 2007
Last updated CET (Central European Time)
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