DEN BOSCH - Before the Court of Justice of Den Bosch, the public prosecutor has demanded a two month suspended prison sentence against an employee of smartshop de Sjamaan from Arnhem, for transporting dried magic mushrooms. The prosecutor maintains that the mushrooms were dried artificially, which makes them illegal according to the Opium Law.
The sentence demanded in the higher court is lower than the judgment of the Court of First Appeal, who, two years ago, sentenced the employee to 240 hours of community service and two months suspended.
In 2002 the High Court ruled, in another case, that dried magic mushrooms should be considered illegally prepared drugs. After years of judicial battle, this created some clearness: fresh hallucinogenic mushrooms are legal, dried ones are not. But what is fresh and what is dry ?
Lawyer Van der Plas pleaded acquittal. Her opinion is that the mushrooms were not dried, and certainly not actively and artificially. Moreover, dried mushrooms are, in her opinion, not on the list of forbidden substances as described in the Opium Law.
This view was supported by expert-witness Lousberg, vice-predident of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a UN-organisation that is in charge of the observance of drug treaties. Lousberg, former employee of the National Health Inspection: 'Magic Mushrooms are not on list 1 of the Opium Law, nor are prepared (i.e. dried) mushrooms.'
However, psilocine and psilocybine, two substances that give the mushroom its hallucinogenic properties, are on that list. 'Preparations' of these two substances are also on the list. For that reason, the High Court ruled, three years ago, that 'prepared' mushrooms are also illegal.
Toxicologist De Wolff explained that psychoactive mushrooms, fresh or dried, are no risk to health, nor are they addictive. 'Alcohol is a much bigger risk to health.'