This is seriously crappy news: the Netherlands is planning to ban the sale of magic mushrooms. Thanks to a few stupid, irresponsible tourists, those who enjoy mushrooms responsibly will be out of luck, despite the Netherlands’ mature and logical approach to drug laws. Shroom use won’t go away, though…it will go underground where the government will be unable to monitor its usage, which makes this move an unwise one. Prohibition simply doesn’t work — people will find a way to get what they want, including mail-order and learning to grow at home. And let’s not forget the incredible idiocy of criminalizing a naturally-growing substance when alcohol is heavily marketed and 100% legal. They tell us “Please drink responsibly”, so why not telling us to eat responsibly as well? The whole thing is fucking insane, and it’s no different than the way the government treats marijuana here in the U.S.
When we visited Amsterdam in 2006, we bought some magic truffles and had the experience of a lifetime. I can’t recall the last time I was filled with such awe and childlike curiosity, before or after that night. I saw astonishing, dazzling, unfathomable things with my eyes and my mind that I simply can’t describe, though I’ve tried…it was a kind of revelation and I will never forget it as long as I live. Most people who take shrooms have this type of experience, though if you’re depressed or are overly stressed about something you may not enjoy it much. The key is to take them in a safe, comfortable environment and only have a small dose if you’ve never done it before. People need to educate themselves before dabbling in any sort of psychoactive drug. The coffee bar where we got our “special” brownies slipped a small note under each one, letting us know how much was in it and other information. Why can’t they do the same for mushrooms? Include a little pamphlet explaining safe and responsible use, and if the tourists are stupid enough to ignore it, then they pay whatever price comes their way.
So I’m really bummed about this. There’s a small chance that it won’t actually happen (or so I’ve read), but right now it looks like our friend psilocybe tampanensis is off the table for our next visit to Amsterdam.