Psychedelic mushroom lab uncovered in Rankin, Pittsburgh, USA

By Alfa · Jul 17, 2008 · ·
  1. Alfa
    Psychedelic mushroom lab uncovered in Rankin

    By Chris Togneri
    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Police officers looking for a suspect instead found a psychedelic mushroom lab in a Rankin house early Wednesday.

    Rankin police Chief Ryan Wooten said his officers were assisting Pittsburgh police at 3 a.m. in an attempt to serve warrants on a suspect staying in a house at 205 Division St.

    The suspect was not there, but his housemates gave permission for officers to search the house, police said.

    Once inside, they found a room containing what they thought was a methamphetamine lab, Wooten said.

    "There were tubings, containers, jars full of whatever," he said. "The officers backed out of the house and contacted hazmat and the health department."

    Allegheny County narcotics detectives arrived, searched the home and determined that it was a psychedelic mushroom lab.

    They sent the fungi to a crime lab to determine whether the mushrooms contain psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in psychedelic mushrooms, known as "magic mushrooms," county police said.

    No one was arrested, pending the lab results. Four people were detained and questioned at the house, Wooten said.

    Cultivating psilocybin mushrooms is a felony, county police said.

    A mushroom lab is not as dangerous to inhabitants, surrounding homes and the environment as a methamphetamine lab, county police said. There are no chemicals and no danger of explosion or contamination in the process of growing and harvesting the fungi.

    Police said the home operation included an indoor greenhouse with humidifiers, 51 mason jars with germinating spores, and about an ounce of grown mushrooms drying on a plate in a dehydrator.

    County police find people in possession of mushrooms two or three times a year -- usually at or near college campuses -- but they rarely come across a mushroom-growing lab.

    Wooten said it was the first time in 15 years he had seen such an operation.

    "This is not the backwoods of Kentucky. ... We're used to finding crack cocaine, methamphetamines" and other illegal drug operations, he said.

    "This is the first one that I have run across where the enterprisers were growing mushrooms," he said.

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  1. old hippie 56
    Why in the world did the roommate give permission to search the house?
  2. Panthers007
    The evidence would lead one to conclude that he/she is stupid.
  3. eastwood
    Swim concurs
  4. Alfa
    Rather a cunning enemy than a stupid friend. The latter can inflict more damage.
  5. Lobsang
    What the hell was that supposed to mean? Like taking mushrooms is not suave as doing coke and meth? Maybe the cop though of moonshine when he saw the mason jars.
  6. Greenport
    Wonder what they were looking for him for in the first place?
  7. Panthers007
    Probably something like they found his stolen bicycle. And it's "policy" to search the homes of people who ride bicycles.
  8. cosmicruler
    possibly thought he was making Methamphetamine...?

    "Once inside, they found a room containing what they thought was a methamphetamine lab, Wooten said. "
  9. Lobsang
    Yes but magic mushroom labs are stll dangerous. Just not as dangerous as meth labs.
  10. FuBai
    No, I beleive he means that he expected to find hard drugs of addiction in the sort of enviroment he polices, not psychedelic mushrooms. Methamphetamine and cocaine are drugs he would expect to find in Rankin, perhaps considering psychedelic mushrooms to have much lower use rates in Rankin than in rural and suburban areas as there tends to be a different customer base. I am not sure if this is the case, but I certainly didn't take it as an assault on the "coolness" of magic mushrooms.

    And how is a magic mushroom lab particularly dangerous? My understanding of mushroom cultivation is that there is very little that is actually dangerous about it, so long as correct spores are used.
  11. Lobsang
    Well yes that was my point. Mushroom labs are not dangerour to the enviornment at all as the cop insinuated wioth the word "as"
  12. Mushroom Cloud
    Well, SWIM is a muhroom cultivator, and he knows for sure, that there are dangers.
    First of all: contamination is that thing a mushroom cultivator is most afraid of, since germs are likely to kill your stock or turn it into a big lump of poison.
    Furthermore, you re dealing with 70% alcohol, which is, to the experience of SWIM, very inflammable (actually SWIM was on fire the last time he inoculated... you know, the alcohol he used to clean himself hasn t evapoured, he came to close to the desinfection flame... he burnt a little... but there are no traces of that event except for the memory of being suddenly surrounded by flames). In addition to that, most cultivators I know use H2O2, which will eat, if poorly administered, through your skin... once I visited a friend (M) who cultivates fungi, and later on that evening M wondered about a waterlike liquid in his refrigerator (where he also kept his H2O2)... well, he just had to touch it with his index finger, rub it between that and his thumb... 5 minutes later, those areas were white, and he could tear that chemically burnt areas form his fingers.
    Still: it doesn t hurt a lot, but it sucks... mostly because you feel fucking stupid.
    So, after all, growing mushrooms isn't that safe at all... but cooking seems to me equally dangerous.
    And for the "lab" in that article: a yield of 500g fresh fungi is not a lab... one yields 500g of fresh fungi on less than a squarefoot in the time span of a month... nearly every mushroom cultivator I know yields more than 1000g fresh a month... and each of that guys grows merely as a hobby, and not for sale purposes.
    And yes, allowing the cops to search a home without a warrent is ALWAYS fucking stupid.
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