Contents Highlights

Magic mushroom -- a dangerous drug


The Force has warned that any person found in possession of "magic mushrooms" is liable to be prosecuted under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

According to the Narcotics Bureau, the mushroom, which is grown naturally, contains two ingredients known as psilocybin and psilocin - both of which are similar to LSD.

"Psilocybin and psilocin are substances known as tryptamines which bring "magic mushrooms" under the ambit of Schedule I Part I of the Dangerous Drug Ordinance," Narcotics Bureau Senior Inspector, Miss Mandy Chiang, told OffBeat.

"Persons found trafficking in or possessing "magic mushrooms" will be arrested and prosecuted. Once convicted, they can expect to be severely punished by the courts.

Miss Chiang warns the public not to possess or traffic in "Magic mushrooms"

"However, I am glad to say that, so far, no local residents have been arrested in possession of this type of drug," she added.

"Magic mushrooms" grow in Central and South America, Hawaii and Bali. Most are cultivated rather than picked in the wild. Substances extracted from the mushrooms are a form of hallucinant, which is similar in nature to LSD.

Since 1999, an increase in the abuse of "magic mushrooms" has been reported at rave parties and clubs in North America and in Europe, but they are not as popular as other psychotropic substances.

The physical effects appear within 20 minutes of ingestion and may last about six hours. The adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, drowsiness, enlarged pupils, sweating, and lack of coordination, diarrhoea, dry mouth and restlessness.

A large dose of "magic mushrooms" produces hallucinations and an inability to discern fantasy from reality.

In many countries, including the USA, "magic mushrooms" are illegal. In one of the more significant cases in the USA, Drug Enforcement Administration officers in November 1999 seized 66 pounds of dried mushrooms and 100 pounds of fresh mushrooms.

The Japanese Government has recently enacted new legislation to include the "magic mushrooms" under the provisions of Japanese Narcotics and Psychotropic Control law.

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