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Dutch bill to ban magic mushrooms

Or... there goes my European Vacation.

The Dutch cabinet has proposed a bill to ban the sale of hallucinogenic or so-called "magic mushrooms".

A majority of MPs is expected to back the proposal, which comes after a number of accidents, mostly involving tourists.

The health ministry said the number of incidents linked with the use of magic mushrooms had almost doubled in the last four years, mainly in Amsterdam.

But owners of the shops that sell them say the ban is unnecessary.


Compromise proposal

The ban on the cultivation and use of the mushrooms means most of Smart Shops will have to close.

The shop owners argue that users will now buy dried mushrooms, which are already illegal.

The Mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, has proposed as a compromise, a three-day cooling-off period between getting the information on magic mushrooms in the Smart Shops and actually buying them.

Under the suggested scheme, if an informed tourist decides to go ahead with a mushroom trip, he can pick up his pack of paddos in the Smart Shop, three days later.

Posted By gwyllm at 2008-04-27 11:58:22 permalink | comments
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zupakomputer. : 2008-05-08 05:25:55
omgoleus: there are plenty of evil's that if they had been killed when they ought to have been, there wouldn't be the mess there is today. Not just in the area of illegal drugs.

You don't look at society as a complete thing, that is why you cannot tell anyone how to run it! If you tried to run a farm, then you wouldn't allow the farmers to remove any diseased plants - you'd make them feel guilty for keeping the rest of the farm healthy and operable. If you were the immune system of a body, you'd let HIV come right on in - and don't let any of those bad Killer-T cells and Killer-B cells do their job and kill the virus!

Now onto the article: I think the Mayor's idea is the most sensible and workable type of suggestion yet seen when it comes to legalisation and decrim. It covers all bases: because sadly there are lots of idiots who misuse drugs and ruin it for the rest of us.
It also takes the sacramental angle into account; do you really, really, want to take a trip and be shown the majesty of the universe etc, or.....are you just wanting a buzz and would probably be better off having a coffee or a beer, depending, because you have no idea at all of the nature of the entheogen you are wanting to eat you pill-popping dumbass.

I appreciate it might f- things up if you are only going there for a few days; but you may be able to order them before you get there?

omgoleus : 2008-04-29 20:58:29
Dervishmadwhirler and sean., I just want to point out, who exactly is it that you think it would help for you to kill? Are you going to kill Mr. Bush himself, and then believe with your own last dying thought that you didn't just make him a martyr of evil? Or are you just going to get so worked up that you kill random people just to feel like you're doing something about it? You must realize that the need to feel like you're doing something about it is just your own version of the desperate, fearful grasping for power and control that got the human race to where it is today.

Let me say that again: your own desire for control, power, and/or influence is just as much of a problem as those "other people"'s desire for control, power and/or influence. You don't get to excuse it by saying "yeah, but I only want to control things in a positive direction!" They all said the same thing to themselves.

Also, DMW, I've met the Dalai Lama and he certainly isn't a mindless git. You should try reading the serious stuff he's published; quotes from the Dalai Lama in the popular media are only marginally better than anything else in the popular media, which I'm sure you understand.

I hope it still rings true that you can't fight hatred with hatred...

Mike C. : 2008-04-29 13:57:43
I think I remember the final straw in this case was a French woman, not an American...

The Dutch sell mushrooms responsibly--all kinds of info available in smart shops, and each package has a pretty comprehensive rundown about set and setting, what to do and what not to do while under the influence. Each package is a strong trip's worth, not too much. The ones getting in trouble would be those there to party who include mushrooms in their arsenal of inebriants, and specifically ignore the written warnings and suggestions on each package.

I imagine that way too many people go there, trying to get everything in at once, and mix mushrooms with especially alcohol for very bad experiences. Not to mention that most are in a foreign, unfamiliar place, a big city, with maybe not so many supportive friends around. Not the best setting especially if consumed in public...

I like the idea of a three day waiting period. Most of the people we saw causing problems in Amsterdam were foreigners there to party for the weekend. A three day waiting period would make people plan a bit more and have to think about what they are getting up to. Not that it will stop irresponsible use, but if it appeases the powermongers to the point that they remain legal, a compromise is better than an out and out ban.

Nowhere Girl. : 2008-04-29 06:30:02
Oust the government... and what will be left? I don't believe it's possible to live without any administrative power, this kind of anarchy would soon turn into chaos, rule of the strongest. I believe in small steps, in gradually moving from representative democracy (which, yes, often is an illusion of democracy - at the same time I DON'T agree that the modern civilisation is 100% evil, every organized religion is a 100% lie and Coca-Cola is a poison) towards participatory democracy.
A big problem is that we are by now not prepared to make such a step. Most people are completely satisfied with not having to make important decisions themselves. I wouldn't call it slavery, it's just a comfortable way to survive. Only a majority is really socially engaged and would favor a system in which people would really have much to say. Others would regard local action as a waste of time. We have to change, feel more responsible for ourselves, other people and the environment, feel EMPOWERED to act.
I definitely have absorbed enough of the most naive and idyllic psychedelic utopias ;) to actually believe psychedelics could be a part of this progress. Definitely being against violence, I'm also against forcing anybody to try anything. In my opinion acting towards a change of the law - at least speaking, writing, showing there are other opinions - is a good purpose, it can make people consider the problem. But maybe I'll conclude here - I think I'm not credible enough as a theorist. ;)
sean. : 2008-04-28 20:41:33
This is particularly in response to dervishmadwhirler's comment, so my apologies if it is off topic. DMW, I find myself as conflicted as you seem to be. I taste the saline of my own tears as well when contemplating the World I find myself in, at least the portion of it I can see and attempt to understand...and I don't know what the hell is in store or what to prepare for...but I find myself changing. I believe ahimsa is the best practice. I've come to agree that if we are all of one source and all wholly connected as some equal part of that source, then yes indeed we are one "body", whole and not disconnected as we seem to be; therefore a strike against any other is only a protracted strike against yourself, and equally towards all else which is in existence or creation. Ahimsa, the practice of non-violence towards all living things, does seem to make perfect sense in this context. I have felt safe in this thought, feeling somehow like I understand WHY we shouldn't fight and WHY we should not hate, or divide ourselves and attempt to conquer one another...and I've writhed over how ignorant this presumed truth (the rightness of ahimsa) must make us out to be for all who see us fight so endlessly. Now, as I'd said before, I find myself changing. Rage boils in my blood at the state of the world, at the lies piled upon lies upon lies upon the cruelness, at the greed, at the arrogance of thinking we are dominant and not participant, to be answered to instead of being held all of the confusion and injustice you clearly have no trouble seeing for yourself, so I'll let off with the descriptions. I find bloody thoughts which float around my mind like orphans, at odds with my philosophy but riled by my deepest emotion. I want to say to you that I too am ready to fight. If it's come to this, then so be it. I still believe in ahimsa. I still believe in the intimate connection and direction shared by all creation, but I cannot shy from confrontation. I don't want to inflict violence to see this vision of a dying world subside; violence is what has brought us this far, and it is a rake I consider best left in the shed. Yet I don't know how to make these thoughts stop. I can't bite my tongue any longer while watching the rape of our home and mother, and it's begun to scare me more than a bit. I don't know if there's any rightness to it, meeting violence with violence...but I don't know what else to say and do, either. How will we go? With beatific smiles on our face knowing with certainty that we have been right all along, even if I we never once stood up for our beliefs...or with blood caked between our fingers, mired in the morality of what we may have done wrong, but at least able to say we've fucking done something at all. I don't want to embrace a violent end, but I wont take the rag to my mouth any more either. This deception MUST STOP. It will I suppose, one way or another. I see the same emotion in your comment which I feel in my own self. It is this emotion I will one day be answerable to...ahimsa is both practice and philosophy in my life, but if my emotion calls me to violence for that which I believe in...well, I suppose I'm answerable to that same as any other man. What will we do, DMW...what will we do...
dervishmadwhirler. : 2008-04-28 16:55:07
Maybe we should be thinking about ousting this stupid government of ours (wherever you are in the western world) because if you count the attacks on our freedom since the beginning of so-called democracy, we see that we have effectively been slaved.
What is this attack on nature and spirituality except a plan that has been in the making for a looooooong time? Do we actually live better now than when we were "primitive"?
Guess not. We have been duped and suckered by the parts of society that are the least equipped to deal with power.....
Perhaps the bible is right in one thing; the world is ruled by the forces of darkness disguising as the light.
Pope: nazi
dutch government: Echoes of americas repressive gov.
dalai lama: mindless git.
americab government: nazis posing as democratic people, democrats and republicans all alike; warmongering to sell weapons.
the bulk of the people in all western countries: lulled into accepting repressive abusive destructive government, in exchange for the fake security of organized community.
the world's money-system: based upon growing debt. A tiny elite ruling and manipulating and destroying nature...
healthcare : selling-points for chemical onslaught on the human body.
Meanwhile, the amazone is being deforested at a breakneck rate. Indigenous peoples being destroyed.
We have a world full of the worst drink in the history of man; coca cola is everywhere, even before the church barges in and gives the natives a complex of different weaknesses and a spiritual vacuum.
Lets face it people; we are fucked if we dont revolt.
Pretty soon the world will be like in all the science fiction horrorstories like 1984, Island, big brother is all around us and what do we do? we docilely consume any form of mindnumbing entertainment and drugs. If we let them take away shrooms, its only going to be a short time before we will have lost weed and iboga, sage and cactuses, in a summarizing law that will be allencompassing against any plant-medicine,remember, they want to sell us control at idiotically high prizes.
We have neither democracy nor freedom in the world. Just look around; know anyone who can go where he/she wants? not bloody likely.
Want to visit unspoiled nature? nope, no can do; there aint any left. Everywhere is the noise and stink of modern society.
And people are numbing themselves into acceptance of this greying world.
I cry....for now, but when my tears dry, I intend to kill my share of politicians and mindless followers who destroy so many people and other beings.
Better to destroy this modern world than to let it destroy us.
wwIII is already being fought; has been for a long time, but not with weapons; with gadgets, entertainment and ego-drugs like cocaine and speed and heroin. Its the war against Spirit. Machine will win if we let opurselves be machinalized. Highest form of order is always Nature; not that side-product of Nature: human nature.....
Evolution? DONT MAKE ME LAUGH; we have DE-volved, if anything.
But sadly enough, I foresee only disaster. Mother Earth is preparing to die; Her children are going haywire. Psychedelic research confirms this. It all seems to be preparing to end, because we are not doing our best to be what we CAN be.
Sorry for this long post, but just be sure that I have a million times more things to say and a lot of visionary people also. Time, my friends and fellow earthlings, is too short to waste. Hard, really hard times are ahead, whichever way the wheel will turn. Soon, VERY soon, we will be in those times they have named the endtime...WE can make it a new beginning.
WITH shrooms and plants to guide us. Anyway I will not let any law stop me from growing spiritually.
Love and peace and POSITIVE CHANGE for all of You. We are all one, but far apart. Let us meet and miracles will happen.
Adam L. : 2008-04-28 09:37:36
Deroidify, dishing out Leary and McKenna is probably going to just make them trip harder. : D
Dedroidify. : 2008-04-27 15:54:37
I'm in Belgium next to the Dutch, they've been talking about this for a while now. I hope they don't ban it, though I'll take the compromise over the ban. Stop freaking banning everything that's natural!

Every smartshop should have info on set & setting, and explain the full potentiality of shrooms. Dish out some leary & mckenna ;)

guest : 2008-04-27 14:20:55
I want to know how many of the tourist incidents involved Americans. I'd like to see which nation lays claims to the most foolhardy and excessive psychedelic tourists. My bet is American college kids.
hazmat. : 2008-04-27 13:59:09
Really, a simple sitter or neutral small-dose orientation for first-time users is all that is needed. Selling quantity blind to newbies will be a problem for everyone, always.
Nowhere Girl. : 2008-04-27 13:42:07
I actually think the "compromise proposal" is a good solution. And it just shows how difficult it is to care for people's safety in the midst of the war on consciousness.
The Netherlands, and especially Amsterdam, have become a Mecca for homegrown psychonauts, but why? Simply because everywhere else a war on psychedelics (and the states they produce) has been declared. All people who want to take psychedelics legally come and meet there - from serious seekers to silly kids. But we only hear about the latter, it isn't an interesting piece of news that Janet R. from Detroit has had a spiritual revelation while on Dutch mushrooms. ;)
Second, the war makes it hard to spread credible information about psychoactives. When kids see that pot isn't a killer drug, they think everything they were told about drugs was bullshit. It's significant that people involved in accidents are usually tourists. It's very likely that young people in the Netherlands get much better information.
(I know these are truisms - but too bad politicians don't want to accept them.)
The waiting period actually doesn't solve all problems - apart from being informed, a crucial thing is to have a competent sitter/guide (that's why I'm still waiting myself). I just hope smart shop owners will find time to talk with would-be psychonauts. A leaflet with general rules and warnings isn't everything, it won't replace a conversation with somebody who can understand your particular situation and give you advice.
Shroom Leader. : 2008-04-27 13:22:03
basically a quick test with questions like: are you depressed? tired? lonely? angry? hungry? scenario: you are standing on a bridge high on mushrooms, do you: A) enjoy the breathtaking view B) feel a bit nervous and decide to walk to solid ground or C) jump from the bridge to your death
My logic is that suicide rates will actually increase amongst local users because of the ban. Here in Seattle we have one of the highest suicide rates, and I know the city itself knows that by trying to eliminate things like cannabis and mushrooms we would only have an increase in suicide. I know people can get suicidal on mushrooms, even weed, but the amount of people who are able to rid themselves of these feeling through a good mushroom trip has got to be 10 fold. I've lost a dear friend who committed suicide while high on mushrooms(turns out he was on speed too), but that was not a random act-he had been suicidal for years. Suicide is a taboo subject that we usually don't deal with until it happens, which by that point is too late. If your suicidal get help-don't be afraid to let people know you are feeling so bad that you'd want to take your life.
Trust me you CAN change that way of thinking and feeling. There is hope.
Waldemar. : 2008-04-27 12:56:45
Waldemar. : 2008-04-27 12:56:23
no no no no no no no no...I'd been reading about this happening for some time. I guess our puritanical influence is deeper than first thought.
jamesk : 2008-04-27 11:59:54
This story has been kicking around for few months, guess the Dutch lawmakers are getting serious. But a three day waiting period for buying shrooms? How about a psychiatric background check? And a release waiver in case of injury or death. And a DNA sample. And the number of your next of kin...

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