Mushrooms Declared Illegal in Netherlands

Teen's suicide leads to surprise change in anything-goes policy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2007 5:52 PM CDT
Tourists on rental bikes look through the window of a smart-shop in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Friday, Oct. 12, 2007.The Dutch government will ban the sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms, a spokesman for...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The party is over in Amsterdam. The Dutch government today announced a ban on psilocybin mushrooms, long tolerated under the Netherlands’ notoriously liberal drug laws, after the well-publicized suicide of a teenage user. The fungus “will be outlawed the same way as other drugs,” the justice minister said. The government will crack down on sellers to enforce the ban, the AP reports.

Most expected the government to rein in mushroom sales after a tripping 17-year-old girl jumped from a building during a school outing, but few expected the outright ban. “It's a shame,” said one vendor. "The media really blew this up into a big issue." The Netherlands sells roughly 500,000 mushroom "doses" annually.