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  1. chillinwill
    THE HAGUE (AFP) — Dutch "magic mushroom" vendors lost a court appeal Tuesday against a December 1 government ban on the hallucinogenic recreational fungi.

    "The magic mushroom ban is not unjust," the Appeals Court in The Hague said, dismissing a challenge by the owners of the so-called "smart shops" that sold the drug.

    "The effect of the ruling is that the magic mushroom ban, effective from December 1, 2008, remains in place."

    The ban was introduced by Health Minister Ab Klink, who believes consumption of the fungi "can lead to unpredictable and risky behaviour".

    It followed the death in 2007 of a French teenager who had taken mushrooms before jumping to her death from an Amsterdam bridge, reigniting a national debate over tolerance of the substance.

    The ban, approved by lawmakers, forbids the cultivation and sale of 186 species of "shrooms" or "paddos", which also grow naturally in the wild.

    The dried variety has been illegal in the country for several years.

    "We are deeply disappointed," Paul van Oyen, a spokesman for the magic mushroom vendors' association VLOS, told AFP. "The court is allowing the minister to get away with lies."

    VLOS maintains there is no proof that magic mushrooms are dangerous and is demanding compensation for the loss of income.

    Before the ban, there had been six magic mushroom growers in the Netherlands, 180 smart shops, and a few hundred employees in an industry with an annual turnover of 15-20 million euros (20-26.5 million euros), according to the VLOS.

    Authorities say about 90 percent of the 1.5 million to two million doses consumed in the Netherlands every year were bought by foreign tourists.

    "We will not pursue this in the courts," said Van Oyen. "It is too expensive. We will retire to lick our wounds."

    The magic mushroom ban is seen as part of a hardening stance on recreational drug use by the traditionally liberal Dutch, who have also been closing some cannabis-vending coffee shops.

    April 14, 2009
    AFP
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iDNFC_E88smsXJmBIUY2pU3JcfQg

Comments

  1. sandoz1943
    What a sad day. There is nothing like the Dutch Masters viewed through psychedelic glasses or all the brightly colored tulips melting in to the canal and flowing off into the sunset. Shame the tourist had to ruin a beautiful thing. The Dutch are such open minded and level headed folks I hope they will rethink thier decision.

    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” quote James Michener
  2. Greenport
    Mushrooms: The new marijuana
  3. blipblop
    Damn, that's bad news. :/
  4. Alfa
    shop organisationj in willing to take this to the high court, but they do not have the money for it. the have already spent 200.000 on these trials. to donate to have them fight for mushroom legality please see the website www.vlos.nl
  5. SWIM Bulgakov
    If 90% of the mushroom buyers are tourist, it seems like it would be a good idea to translate vlos.nl into a few languages.
  6. inpainnj
    this is hard to fathom harder was the one sentence that several coffie houses were closed, SWIM actualy flew several times to amsterdam in order to spend quality time and have the traditionaly the veritable cornicopia of marijauna and hashish. uess its time to head hollands way before this is gone!
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  7. Sunshine-Band
    Its only expensive because you are paying lawyers, and they are not even winning lawyers. In the UK we are fighting in person in the courts, see Neil Morgan, Edwin Stratton and Alan Taylor fighting over cannabis laws. This shrooms case should have been brought under Article 14 ECHR, then they would be forced to make the analogous comparator test.
  8. Alfa
    Please explain Article 14 ECHR.
  9. Sunshine-Band
    Cant sleep - yes basically it is to protect against discrimination. Whilst the precedents for types of discrimination do not include this type (drug rights), European law is open to consider any novel grounds for what is discrimination, as it recognises that it is an evolving discipline. Art 14 is not free standing right, it can only be claimed in conjunction with another convention right - its perfect for europe this case, shrooms are just perfect to bring out the discrimination - it is that the law must treat like cases alike, and unlike ones differently - so by allowing bars selling alcohol but not any shroom sales shows this divide, which is distinct from claiming there is no justification for the intervention into shroom sales, but that such has to be proportionate, and that can only be assesed by reference to other trades. Secondly, the govt allow the peaceful use of alcohol and responsible use, but deny all use to shroom users and businesses. So they fall down here too.
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