Holland’s psychedelic fungus dealers have a message for UK citizens: Buy our drugs. Buy Shrooms uk
“Customers of ours are being scared by your police and customs,” complained one supplier, who asked for his name to be withheld over email. “They are wrong. But no one dares to confront the authorities with their misunderstanding.”
While magic mushrooms have been illegal in the Netherlands since 2008, after a tragic accidental death soured the scene, their subterranean cousins, magic truffles, managed to escape the ban. Despite the fact they’re the same species, contain the same psychoactive chemicals and have the same effect on the brain, they’re not technically “mushrooms”—which, as any mycology nerd will tell you, refers only to the part of the fungus you can see—and so the head shops of Amsterdam have been doing a roaring trade in them ever since. Buy Shrooms UK
Which is great news for the Dutch. But can they really be legally shipped to Britain? Or could it be that anonymous internet drug dealers aren’t actually all that trustworthy?
Buying magic truffles is easy enough. Unlike shopping for illegal drugs on the so-called dark net, there’s no need for pesky crypto-currencies or anonymizing web browsers. A quick trip to any site selling truffles opens up a world of brand names and bumper deals.
“Utopia,” “Pandora,” and “Atlantis”—fancy names for products that are all essentially just hunks of mold–can be ordered in quantities ranging from pocket-size ten-gram portions all the way up to two-kilogram dealer starter kits. There are “Fun Packs,” “Party Packs,” and even “Family Packs,” for the families that like to sit in a room together, gently rubbing their own skin and talking about the boundaries of perception for the better part of a weekend.
Buried within the pages of product descriptions, recommended doses, and rapturous customer reviews (“The best thing I’ve ever bought!”), there are one or two suggestions that, legally speaking, things might not be entirely above board.
“We find Magic Truffles very special,” writes one supplier. “You probably do to [sic]. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with us. To avoid any uncomfortable situations, we will send the Magic Truffles discreetly…”
“Uncomfortable situations” like, for instance, getting locked up for a decade or so for conspiracy to import class A drugs?
“We do not know which products are legal in other countries,” is how one site’s FAQ dismisses such concerns. “Fortunately Magic Truffles do not look suspicious at all. Unknowing people will never know that this refers to ‘drugs’.” And, writes another supplier, “We don’t usually have any problems shipping within the EU.”
The courts aren’t exactly bursting with people being disciplined for possession of psychedelic sclerotia. In fact, the only examples of truffle-related crime I can dig up have to do with the very expensive edible variety. Reassured, I take a party pack of Psilocybe tampanesis (a.k.a. “philosopher’s stones”) to the online checkout, pay, and wait to see what happens. Buy Shrooms UK
In a few days, a bulky parcel arrives at my door, a brightly colored container within. A handful of earthy little tumors, none of them larger than a baby’s fist, spill out. They look cute. Truffles, biologically speaking, are just very frightened fungi: They take on the form as a survival tactic, to avoid fires and other natural hazards. They seem like harmless little things. But, legally, what sort of damage could they do?
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“In the UK, fungus of any kind which contains psilocin or an ester of psilocin is controlled as a class A drug,” says Kirstie Douse, Head of Legal Services at the drug law charity Release. “Psilocin is the active substance in psilocybin mushrooms. The ‘magic truffles’ are a fungus, so there is absolutely no difference between the legality of these and ‘magic mushrooms.'”
That drug dealers are out of touch with the law shouldn’t be a surprise, but it does seem a little irresponsible to offer so little warning when the consequences for customers could be dire. In the UK, mere possession of a class A drug can land you “up to seven years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.”
As various criminologists have suggested, the word of the law is often irrelevant. In many cases, the only thing that really matters is how likely you are to get caught. From what Tony Saggers, Head of Drugs Threat at the National Crime Agency, tells me, magic truffles do not seem to feature very high up on the list of police priorities. Buy Shrooms UK
“A wide range of illicit drugs are acquired from the Netherlands to transport to the UK via a range of means,” says Saggers. “We are aware of the trade from the Netherlands of mushrooms and truffles containing psilocybin. However, current intelligence suggests that this is sporadic, on a small scale, and not facilitated by organized criminal networks.”
That said, according to Saggers, anyone unlucky enough to have his or her truffles sniffed out will still be crushed by the full weight of the law.
“The NCA works with Border Force and a range of international partners to combat the trafficking of drugs to the UK, including the use of parcels and the postal system,” he says. “Despite demand being low for psilocybin, compared with drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and synthetics, the NCA and our partners would treat any discovery of this drug being imported as a crime and deal with those identified as being involved accordingly.”
Ali Kucuksen, one of the Truffle Brothers, Holland’s foremost psychedelic fungus suppliers, offers a very different perspective. Whether or not the average border official is even capable of recognizing these obscure growths as illegal drugs is, he says, possibly irrelevant. The big secret is that they don’t seem to care. Buy Shrooms UK
“Within Europe, the knowledge that we have an excellent psychedelic replacement available is slowly spreading,” says Kucuksen. “Mostly our parcels arrive on time in the right place. It seems that some governments have no problem with the consumption of this harmless product; it’s just that they don’t want it out in the open. We simply try to be the best in making people happy with a good product, and especially with providing good information about the product for a safe trip. After all, it is a recreational drug.”
Are the forces of law and order secretly conspiring to let magic truffles into the country? Or are they just ignorant of the facts? Without going out and waving my stash under a cop’s nose, it’s hard to tell. What is clear is that Britain’s attitude towards psychedelic drugs is changing significantly and, in one way or another, the law is going to have to catch up.
According to government figures, the number of people reporting psychedelic drug use has risen by 175 percent in the last couple of years. As the possible therapeutic benefits of such drugs—in treating PTSD, depression, addiction, and even helping the terminally ill come to terms with their mortality—become known, their continued prohibition seems increasingly strange. Buy Shrooms UK
If you buy magic truffles today, you will be breaking the law. But perhaps it’s a law that deserves to be broken.
High times in magic mushroom business – and it’s perfectly legal
Sales of psychedelic fungi and growing kits are booming as retailers take advantage of a loophole in British law
The Aztecs dubbed them “the flesh of the gods”, Siberian shamans used them to enlighten their path to the spirit world, and they were the preserve of hippies and the pioneers of the psychedelic movement in the 1960s. But now magic mushrooms are at the centre of a new – and legal – retail boom. Buy Shrooms UK
On the Portobello Road, in Notting Hill, west London, a stall opened for business in August, openly advertising varieties of psychedelic fungi and growing kits for sale. Psyche Deli, the company behind it, now runs two similar market stalls elsewhere and supplies more than 30 shops across the country. The company estimates that its turnover and that of its competitors in London is running at 50kg (134lb) a week, the equivalent of 5,000 individual doses or five-hour “trips”.
“We sell to all types – doctors, architects, lawyers, even the odd policeman,” said Chris Territt, one of the directors of Psyche Deli, which operates out of a refrigerated storeroom in Dalston, north London. “In our opinion it’s only a matter of time before the fad becomes mainstream.”
The consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms is probably as old as human society. In Algeria, 7,000-year-old drawings of “round headed” figures holding mushroom-like objects have been found daubed on rocks on a plateau high above the Sahara.
But the existence of the modern trade owes less to history and more to a curious loophole in British law.
When the directors of Psyche Deli decided to test the market for Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms in Britain, they were unsure how far the authorities would allow them to go.
Although psilocin and psilocybin, the psychoactive constituents of the mushrooms, are considered class A drugs under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, the gathering and possession of fresh mushrooms has never been an offence in Britain. However, the courts have ruled that mushrooms that have been dried or “altered by the hand of man” do constitute a class A drug, as might mushrooms that have been frozen and packaged for sale.
Nevertheless, when the company checked with the Home Office last March it received a letter from a licensing officer saying it was “not illegal to sell or give away a freshly picked mushroom” or mushroom growing kits.
Psyche Deli promptly placed an order for mushrooms and terrariums with growers in Holland. It is not the only company thriving thanks to Britain’s new-found fondness for fungi. Amolon, a Birmingham-based operation, has a burgeoning delivery and mail-order business that supplies customers across the country, while the Shroomshop, a collective of 20 UK growers, sends mushrooms direct to head-shops in the Midlands. Buy Shrooms UK
At Psyche Deli’s Portobello Road stall, the queues confirm the broad appeal of mushrooms. Sarah, 35, who works in information technology, had not used magic mushrooms since she was a student in her twenties until she found the stall.
“They had four different varieties,” she said. “I asked them what the mildest one was and they recommended the Mexicans. Within 15 minutes I started to get this warm, tingly feeling. Within half an hour the market had become this vibrant and colourful place.”
Sarah, who declined to give her last name for fear of shocking her work colleagues, now visits the stall every weekend. A confirmed “shroomer”, her fungus of choice is a gnarled truffle the colour and texture of congealed muesli known as the Philosopher’s Stone.
Like many operators, Psyche Deli is careful not to promote the mushrooms as hallucinogens, saying they are being sold for “ornamental” and “research purposes” only. The stall also carries a prominent sign prohibiting the sale of mushrooms to under-18s.
On the advice of the Medicines Control Agency, the Camden Mushroom Company has been told it cannot distribute information about the mushrooms because they are not qualified herbalists. However, they are allowed to respond to questions from customers and, asked to describe the effects of the various strains on sale, the young men behind the stall will happily provide the mushroom equivalent of wine notes.
Although the effects of psilocybin can vary, from feelings of euphoria and excitement to mild or strong visual hallucinations, for most people mushroom munching appears to be a pleasant experience.
Alex Levine, 26, a sales professional, has been using psilocybin mushrooms on and off for two years with no apparent ill-effects. “I tend to do them with a group of friends before I get out clubbing,” he said. “With LSD or ecstasy you definitely feel as though you’ve done some damage, but with mushrooms you feel right as rain afterwards. It’s just an all-round positive experience.”
But others tell a different story. Chris, 40, a songwriter from west London, who is used to other recreational drugs, decided to try 10g (0.32oz) of the Mexicans but found it was more than he could handle.
“I dropped them at home with my wife at 7pm. By 8pm the room was pulsating and I had to lie down. I felt I was no longer in control.”
Concerned by the lack of regulation and the growth in mail-order deliveries from Holland, Shroomshop has proposed that British retailers and distributors adopt a voluntary “safe sale” protocol.
This would require them to inform purchasers about unpleasant side effects such as anxiety and paranoia, restrict sales to over 17s, and impose maximum dosages of 35g a person.
Many retailers, worried about their uncertain legal position, have already adopted similar measures. Dave Clayton-Wright, the manager of Planet Bong, a shop in Leamington Spa specialising in drug-related paraphernalia, began offering mushrooms as a novelty to selected customers earlier this year. Buy Shrooms UK
“We have a little chat with each person beforehand to make sure they understand what they are doing and know what the law says,” he said. “The response has been amazing. We’re seeing the same groups of shroomers every week.”
However, drug policy experts argue that it is unrealistic to expect the market to regulate itself and that the current laws should be reformed. “The idea that fresh mushrooms are legal but if they’re prepared in a mug of tea then it’s punishable with 14 years in prison is patently absurd,” said Steve Rolls, a spokesman for drugs policy thinktank Transform.
“The Home Office should reduce the controls and issue proper regulations to ensure they’re only sold to adults and that customers are given correct dosage and health information.” Buy Shrooms UK
The most popular mushroom sold on stalls and by mail-order is Stropharia cubensis. Unlike Liberty Cap or Psilocybe semilanceata (the mushroom variety that grows wild in the UK), the cubensis strain is easy to cultivate in terrariums, and its low water content means it remains fresh for up to seven to 10 days.
The fungus is sold in four common varieties:
A variety of shapes and sizes but with a white stem and a tan-orange cap. As with all varieties of cubensis, the stem on contact with the air turns a bluish colour because of its psilocybin content. A 10 gram dose will result in a ‘trip’ of four to six hours -giggly and sociable, with colourful visuals
Cost £10 for 10g
Same tan orange-tan cap and blue-hued stem as the Mexican variety, but generally slightly larger in size; they also give a slightly stronger, slightly more hallucinogenic trip
Cost £10 for 10g
Mainly imported from the Netherlands, they have longer, thicker stalk and a green hue to the cap. The overall experience is ‘trippier’ than either the Mexican or Colombian strains, with visuals that are more colourful and intense . Buy Shrooms UK
Cost £12.50 for 10g
A truffle, rather than a toadstool, this grows in the roots of a normal mushroom, and has a higher percentage of psilocybin by weight. Resembling congealed muesli, it tastes like slightly bitter walnut and produces a more physical and euphoric buzz
Cost £15 for 10g
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