Mushrooms in Japan


Author: vfdpartydrogen
Date: Mar 19, 2002
Views: 2240


The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has decided to ban the sale and
possession of mushrooms containing narcotic elements, in accordance with
the Narcotics Control Law, ministry officials said Sunday.

The fungi, dubbed "magic mushrooms," have gained popularity among young
people as a so-called legal drug. The ministry plans to revise relevant
laws to designate the mushrooms a raw material narcotic source under the
law, after hearing opinions from the public by the beginning of April.

The ministry aims to eventually classify all such mushrooms, which
contain hallucinogenic ingredients psilocybin or psilocin, as narcotics
and also ban the import, cultivation and advertisement of such mushrooms.

Extracting narcotic elements from such mushrooms is already prohibited
under the current law, but the sale or possession of the mushrooms
themselves is not subject to the law, and is generally overlooked by
authorities in Japan.

As a result, the mushrooms are commonly sold in stores, on the street
and via the Internet. They can be dangerous when taken in large doses,
with the majority of people who overdose suffering symptoms such as
vomiting and numbness in the extremities, said the officials, adding
such symptoms are seen especially among teens and those in their 20s.

According to the ministry, at least 11 types of such mushrooms grow in
the wild, and two of them are confirmed to be widely distributed. In
addition, there are some mushrooms that have been imported from the
Netherlands, it said.

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